India and Russia expect to sign over a dozen memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) here in September, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday, adding that both the countries are discussing potential cooperation in gas exploration and supplies from the Russian Arctic region.
“When the prime minister will visit the EEF, we will have over a dozen MoUs that are planned to be executed at that time, some of which we are discussing today and will finalize over next 20 days,” Goyal told Russian news agency Sputnik in an interview.
“Both ministers of India and Russia with energy companies in Russia are discussing what we can do particularly in the Arctic region for gas exploration and supply to India,” he added.
Goyal is currently leading an Indian delegation visiting the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok from Sunday through Tuesday. It comprises chief ministers of four states and businesspeople. The Russian official delegation to the talks is headed by Yury Trutnev, the presidential plenipotentiary envoy to Russian Far Eastern Federal District and deputy prime minister.
The minister noted that the Indian delegation’s visit to Vladivostok was “in some sense” a preparation for the upcoming EEF in Vladivostok.
“For the EEF we will have the prime minister accompanied by a very high-level delegation of government leaders and businesspersons,” Goyal said, noting that Modi’s delegation would be smaller than the one visiting Vladivostok now, but more high-ranking.
According to the minister, the current visit, along with the upcoming meetings on the EEF sidelines, will enable the two countries to “easily” achieve the target of $30 billion in bilateral trade by 2025.
Goyal’s visit to the Russian Far East comes less than a month ahead of the EEF, which will have Modi as the main guest. The three-day forum will be held in Vladivostok from September 4.