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PM Modi’s Russia visit to focus on strengthening energy ties

rime Minister Narendra Modi will be undertaking a two-day visit to Russia from September 4 during which he will take part in the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) meeting. Modi will also take part in the annual India-Russia summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Briefing the media, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the two countries have a “special relationship” and the intent to develop greater ties in energy will be followed up by action on ground during the visit.

He said the Prime Minister has emphasised on broadening relations with Russia beyond nuclear energy and defence to other areas of the economy.

The Foreign Secretary said oil and gas were among major areas of interest for India and one of the objectives was to not be dependent on any one country or region for imports.

Gokhale said Modi’s visit to Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum meeting as one of the chief guests was a signal of the importance India attaches to the Russian Far East, an area with which India has had few links in the past.

He said India was also looking at the possibility of manpower export.

“We are exploring the possibility of sending people with some skills in areas wherever there is manpower shortage. That is not limited to just Far East of Russia. This is an effort we are making in a number of countries. This is one area where we feel there is good potential,” he said.

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