REUTERS / Dmitri Lovetsky/Pool
New Delhi (Sputnik): India says it is working with Russia to overcome payment issues for its strategic imports from that country. Deputy National Security Advisor of India, Ambassador Pankaj Saran said both sides are working on rupee-rouble trade to overcome a crisis caused by US financial sanctions.
Addressing the Second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue in New Delhi on Wednesday, Ambassador Saran said this would help overcome Indias adverse balance of trade with Russia.
“As part of the trading environment, there have been talks about trade in national currencies. This again is still a work in progress and we need to see how we can operationalise and move forward on this idea, because increasingly we see many countries in the world are taking recourse to trading in their own respective currencies", said Ambassador Saran.
Ambassador Saran said the problem is not just the relatively low level of trade between India and Russia, but also the fact that India has an adverse balance of trade with Russia, which is growing.
Indias plans to acquire S400 air defence missile systems was hit by US financial sanctions and both countries are working on a solution regarding payment issues. This will also help Russia pitch for Indias upcoming defence contracts like submarines and fighter jets.
Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of Indias national think-tank, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) has suggested the possibility of a free trade agreement between the two countries. “It is a possibility, but we need to take it forward", he told Sputnik on the sidelines of the conference.
Russian Deputy Minister for Economic Development Timur Maksimov has suggested that todays Roundtable should arrive at specific targets, which would then be considered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum and at the next Russian-Indian Annual Summit.
Moscows envy to New Delhi Nikolay R. Kudashev felt it is important to overcome major impediments to bilateral trade. He suggested a solution for this problem might lie with the speedy operationalisation of the International North-South Transpor