Russia, India negotiating on free trade agreement


New Delhi: Visiting Russian Minister of Trade and Industry, Denis Manturov, said on Monday that India and Russia are deliberating on a free trade agreement (FTA), a move which could enhance commercial relations between the two nations.

The talks between the two countries on a possible FTA are likely to further accelerate economic relations between both the nations, despite Europe and America urging India to distance itself from Russia due to the latter’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

India’s imports from Russia have grown more than four times to $46.33 billion over the last fiscal, mainly due to oil purchases from that country.

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“We pay special attention to the issues of mutual access of production to the markets of our countries,” Manturov said during an industry event.

He added that along with the Eurasian Economic Commission, Russia is looking forward to fast-track negotiations on a free trade agreement with India.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who was also present at the event, said that the Covid-19 pandemic had disrupted discussions on an FTA between the two countries, but expressed hope that talks will resume on it soon.

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( With inputs from )

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