Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel held discussion with Mr Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of Russia through Video Conferencing on 6 May 2020. The discussions encompassed the global oil and gas scenario and review of bilateral cooperation in the sectors of oil and gas sector and coking coal.
Minister Novak briefed the Indian Minister on the recently signed OPEC+ agreement. Minister Pradhan welcomed the agreement as an important step in providing stability and predictability to the global energy markets, which is important for India as a consuming nation. The Russian Minister recognised and appreciated the role India plays as a major bilateral partner but also as a major demand driver of hydrocarbon consumption. Minister Pradhan emphasised that Indian economy will continue to be the demand centre for hydrocarbons.
The two Ministers also reviewed the ongoing projects between the two countries including the participation with Rosneft in the Vostok Project, Novatek supplies of LNG, cooperation between Gail and Gazprom, joint projects with Gazpromneft, the supply of crude oil by Rosneft to Indian Oil etc. Russian side appreciated India’s continued cooperation despite the unforeseen circumstances arising on account of COVID 19. Minister Novak reaffirmed their desire to support Indian energy needs.
During the meeting, particular emphasis was laid on the cooperation in the coking coal sector in which considerable headway has been made since the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Russia in September 2019. In this context, the Russian Minister welcomed ShriPradhan’s suggestion of an early convening of a meeting of a high-level WG to strengthen cooperation in coking coal with the aim of a conclusion of an MoU.
The Indian side welcomed long term cooperation with the Russian side and Minister Pradhan reiterated his request for Minister Novak to visit India at a convenient time when situation stabilises. In the interim both Ministers instructed their officials to carry out discussions through VC.
Both sides agreed on the assessment of the current challenges to the global energy scenario and the important role India will play as a driver of a resurgence in demand which will be pivotal in global economic revival.