India on Thursday announced a humongous $1 billion line of credit for Russia’s resource-rich Far East, which includes Siberia, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowing to support President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to develop the extremely harsh region.
Addressing the plenary session of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), Modi said it was a unique case of India providing such special credit line to a region in another country.“For the development of the Far East, India will give line of credit worth $1 billion. My government has actively engaged East Asia as part of its Act East policy,” Modi said.
The prime minister then unveiled his government’s “Act Far East” policy to boost India’s engagement with Russia’s Far East region, blessed with oil, gas and other minerals. “I am confident that this step will give new impetus to the development of economic diplomacy and growth of ties between the regions of our friendly states. We will remain active partners in our priority cooperation.”Terming the grant of $1 billion to Russia’s Far East an unprecedented, the prime minister termed it as India’s launching pad in the region.
Modi appreciated the vision of Putin for the welfare for Russia’s Far East, saying the Russian President has opened up investment opportunities for India in the region.
“The EEF is an example of President Putin’s stupendous efforts to further develop the Far Eastern Region and India will support him in this endeavour,” he said.“By declaring the development of the Russian Far East a ‘national priority for the 21st century’, President Putin has taken a holistic approach towards improving everything ranging from economy, education, health to sports, culture or communication,” he said.
“We concluded 50 agreements worth $45 billion at this forum,” Modi later said, adding US sanctions on Russia will have no effect on strengthening bilateral ties in strategic sectors like energy and defence.
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