India and Russia reviewed bilateral trade and economic cooperation, including the deficit in bilateral trade, during a virtual meeting on Monday between external affairs minister S Jaishankar and Russian deputy prime minister Denis Manturov.
The meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) reviewed progress achieved by various working groups and sub-groups since the last meeting of the panel in Moscow in November 2022.
The co-chairs also provided guidance to prepare the ground for the next in-person meeting of the IRIGC-TEC to be held in New Delhi at mutually convenient dates, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
“The two sides agreed to work together to unlock the full potential of India-Russia bilateral trade and economic relations, including through addressing the trade deficit and market access issues,” the statement said.
Russia has become the largest supplier of oil to India since New Delhi began snapping up discounted Russian crude in the wake of Western sanctions slapped on Moscow over the war in Ukraine. Russian envoy Denis Alipov said last month that trade with India touched a record figure of $30 billion in 2022 and there was a 36-fold increase in Russian oil supplies to India.
However, this has also resulted in trade being skewed in favour of Russia, as India’s exports have remained stagnant.
The inter-governmental commission is a mechanism for monitoring progress in bilateral trade and economic cooperation. It was set up under the Agreement on Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation signed in May 1992.
The first session of the IRIGC was held in September 1994. A total of 23 IRIGC meetings have been held so far.
The 23rd session of the IRIGC was held in Moscow in September 2018. Monday’s review meeting paved the way for the next meeting, which will be hosted by India.