India-Russia trade soars to all-time high

Goods traded include petroleum oil, mineral fuels, mineral oils and mineral waxes, and fertilisers

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trade between their two countries has grown.  Reuters
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India's bilateral trade with Russia jumped to an all-time high of over $18 billion in five months, amid a surge in the import of fertilisers and oil.

The growing ties have made Moscow the seventh largest trade partner for New Delhi.

Trade between the two countries reached $18.2bn between April and August this year, compared to bilateral trade of $13.12bn in the last financial year, data released by India’s Department of Commerce showed.

Goods traded include petroleum oil, mineral fuels, mineral oils and mineral waxes and fertilisers.

The South Asian nation imports 85 per cent of its fuel needs, mostly from the Middle East, with Russian imports accounting for about 1 per cent.

But India started buying discounted oil from Russia to fulfil its energy requirements, since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February, and it has since tripled its oil imports from Moscow.

The discounted oil offered by Moscow has come as a relief to the nation of 1.3 billion people that was facing inflation at 7 per cent in July.

India has been criticised by the West, which introduced sanctions against Moscow for waging a war against Ukraine and has mounted pressure on New Delhi to isolate Russia.

But New Delhi has said that Moscow is a “time-tested friend” and the deal is in the Indian “national interest”.

India’s exports to Russia stood at $3.25bn, whereas imports from Moscow had been valued at $9.87bn last financial year.

The UAE with $3.6bn was the third biggest trade partner to New Delhi during the first five months of the financial year.

Updated: October 21, 2022, 10:12 AM