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India ‘Going North’ in Infrastructure Development in Siberia, Far East

Sept. 17, 2023, (EIRNS)—In a meeting Sept. 13 on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, India and Russia discussed cooperation in development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR, ports and shipping along the shore of the Arctic Ocean in Siberia) and what is called the Eastern Maritime Corridor between Vladivostok and Chennai (the state capital of Tamil Nadu in southern India). The Hindu reported Sept. 14 that immediately, “Indian seafarers will be trained on Polar and Arctic waters at the Russian Maritime Training Institute in Vladivostok, which is equipped with simulators.”

The head of the Indian team at the meeting, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, announced the formation of an “India-Russia Joint Maritime Commission to facilitate constructive discussion on various issues regarding development of the NSR.” He said India wants a partnership to develop it “for enhanced connectivity and trade.”

The next step, Sonowal said, is that a “workshop in Chennai will discuss the operationalization of the EMC, and ... trade and transport of commodities such as coking coal, oil, and liquefied natural gas along this corridor.” Russia has been invited to attend the Global Maritime India Summit 2023 in Mumbai, on Oct. 17-19.

Russian Minister for Development of the Far East and Arctic Aleksey Chekunkov, in his statement, added fertilizers to the products for trade through the two corridors, as their development progresses in Russia’s Far East. He also said Russia wanted to expand the scope of this partnership to include development between Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.

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