Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave an interview to the Times of India newspaper, covering various aspects of bilateral relations.
He specifically pointed out that “Russia continues its policy aimed at gradual de-dollarization of the economy. Together with our main partners, including India, we work on developing economic and legal mechanisms to reduce the negative impact of restrictions on bilateral trade and investment ties. Expanding settlements in national currencies is one of our priorities. Relevant intergovernmental agreements on settlements and payments were concluded with China and Turkey last June and October. Within BRICS, agreements were reached on the mutual opening by the Central Banks of relevant correspondent accounts. We consider that de-pegging from the dollar in mutual settlements is an objective response to the unpredictability of the US economic policy and the outright abuse by Washington of the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency.”
As Lavrov noted, “New Delhi and Moscow are vigorously working to prepare a new intergovernmental agreement on the mutual protection of investments, which will by far increase investor protection for both sides. The agreement on a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and India which is currently being negotiated should also contribute to this.”
He also stressed that “Russian companies are ready to actively join in the Make in India program. They certainly have a stake in the harmonization and optimization of the import and export procedures, as well as facilitation and standardization of technical, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements. Yet, India’s asymmetrical tax treatment of foreign business as compared to the regime enjoyed by Indian entrepreneurs in Russia remains the sticking point. Consultations on the removal of trade barriers are underway to make our domestic markets more attractive for mutual investments.”