Russia plans to become reliable energy supplier to Asian markets
MOSCOW, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia wants to become a reliable energy supplier to the Asian markets, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with India's semi-official news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).
"We expect to secure ourselves the role of a reliable energy supplier to the Asian markets," Putin said prior to his two-day official visit to India starting from Wednesday.
Putin stressed that Russia had to branch out its energy supplies as the European consumption increased too slowly, also because of the rising political, regulatory and transit risks in the West.
"At the same time, we intend to focus on the economic development in Russia's Eastern Siberia and Far East regions and build new infrastructure there," in order to go with the tide of rapid economic growth of Asian economies, Putin added.
"Russia and India have a huge potential of bilateral trade and economic cooperation," although the bilateral trade decreased due to unfavorable global macroeconomic situation, according to Putin.
The president particularly mentioned the energy cooperation between Russia and India, saying that India will start receiving shipments of liquefied natural gas from Russia under a 2012 contract as early as in 2017.
Putin said that "we will devote particular attention to expanding trade and economic links and boosting mutual investments, " according to the interview transcript posted on president's official website.
He added that views on current international and regional issues, as well as on deepening foreign policy coordination, would be exchanged "in order to further strengthen security and stability in Eurasia and in the whole world."
Meanwhile, as India is seeking to reach a free trade agreement with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus that have a customs union, experts of a joint group would discuss and decide on details of the agreement and its implementation, Putin said.
The visit, the fifth to India by Putin, came amid a great deal of animosity between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis.
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