Brief on India-Russia Economic Relations


1. Enhancing trade and economic cooperation between India and Russia is a key priority for the political leadership of both the countries as is clear by the revised targets of increasing bilateral investment to US $ 50 billion and bilateral trade to US $ 30 billion by 2025.

2. As per Indian figures, bilateral trade during April 2020-March 2021 amounted USD 8.1 billion. Indian exports amounted USD 2.6 billion while imports from Russia amounted USD 5.48 billion. For the same period, as per Russian figures, bilateral trade amounted to USD 9.31 billion, with Indian exports amounting to USD 3.48 billion and imports amounting to USD 5.83 billion.

3. A number of institutionalized mechanisms have been set up for the development of economic cooperation between the two countries. The primary institution at the government level is the India Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific & Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC). Further, pursuant to the decision taken during the 19th Bilateral Summit, the India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) has been established for cooperation in the field of development of economic policy and to encourage regular interactions and cooperation between the two countries. So far, 23 sessions of the IRIGC and 3 sessions of the IRSED meeting have taken place.

4. India is also contemplating an FTA/ CECA with the Eurasian Economic Union. The Eurasian Economic Union is one of the important emerging economic blocks, and India is keen to engage more closely with Russia and the CIS countries to further intensify our trade and economic cooperation with this region.

5. There have been regular bilateral exchanges at the highest levels. In 2021, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the Plenary session of the 6th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok through a video message in presence of President Vladimir Putin. His message was well received by the Russian side and President Putin made special mention of Prime Minister’s concept of ‘Sangam’ as a development tool for countries in the region. Earlier during 04-06 September 2019, Prime Minister visited Vladivostok to participate in the 5th Eastern Economic Forum as Chief Guest. The 20th Indo-Russian Annual Summit was held during the visit, during which 50 agreements were signed, including 15 documents on Governmental level and 35 agreements related to economic and trade matters.

6. Other notable high-level engagements included the following:

• On 08 July 2021, External Affairs Minister, Shri S Jaishankar met Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mr Yury Borisov (who is also co-chair in IRIGC framework). The two leaders briefly discussed the main issues and areas of bilateral economic cooperation.

• During the 6th Eastern Economic Forum, Indian delegation was led by Hon'ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Hardeep S Puri from 02-05 September, 2021. Leading oil and gas companies of India including OVL, IOCL, GAIL, OIL, Petronet and EIL were part of the Indian delegation. During the visit, Hon’ble Minister met his counterpart Mr. Nikolay Shulginov, Minister of Energy of the Russia and leadership of Russian oil and gas majors including Rosneft, Gazpromneft, Novatek, Sibur to review the bilateral cooperation in the energy sector. He visited Sakhalin site which has Indian investment.

• During 01-07 March 2021, Secretary M/o PNG led a delegation of oil and gas PSUs to Russia to review the bilateral energy cooperation. Indian delegation met the Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation and leadership of the Russian oil and gas majors. The delegation visited St Petersburg and the Indian asset in Tomsk during the visit.

• CEO of Far East Investment and Export Agency Mr Leonid Petukhov visited New Delhi and Ahmedabad from November 25-27, 2019 for a series of Governmental and Business meetings to promote Indian trade & investment linkages with the Russian Far East. During this visit, apart for some high-level business meetings, the delegation met with MoPNG Shri Dharmendra Pradhan along with leading coal and steel companies from India, Chief Minister of Gujarat, state representatives from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in a session led by Secretary DPIIT, including senior representatives from Invest India and FICCI. He also had interactions with Vice Chairman Niti Aayog Sh Rajiv Kumar, as well as representatives from EXIM Bank.

• On 22-24 October, 2019 Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Steel, Petroleum and Natural Gas, GoI, visited the Far East Region of the Russian Federation.

• Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry along with Chief Ministers of five states (Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra), led a high-level business delegation of more than 150 Indian business people to Vladivostok on 11-13 August 2019.

• Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Yury Borisov, heading an 18-member Russian delegation, representing various Ministries, visited New Delhi on 22 July 2019, and met Dr. S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister. Both co-chaired the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC).

• Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship inaugurated the India Pavilion at WorldSkills Kazan on 22-27 August 2019. The Pavilion adorns myriad hues of India’s culture, traditions, diversity and skills and we welcome all delegates to visit us and know more about Incredible India.

• A meeting of the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation A. Novak and the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Minister of Steel of the Republic of India D. Pradhan was held on August 29, 2019 in Moscow. In addition, there were many official and expert level visits from both sides covering a wide spectrum of issues on the economic side.

Bilateral trade figures for last ten years are given below:
(amt in US $ billion)


India’s Import
from Russia

India’s export
to Russia

Total trade

Increase YOY




























































+31.4% (corresponding to same period in 2020)

Source: Federal Customs Service of Russia

8. Trade in services: Bilateral trade in services has remained stable during the last 5 years with trade balance in Russia’s favor. While in 2017, trade in services was USD 1095.4 million, it reduced slightly in 2018 to USD 999 million. The figure stands at USD 973.645 million for the year 2020.


9. Russian investment in India in 2017 has reached 18bn USD and India’s total investment in Russia so far is 13 bn USD. The overall investment target of 30 bn USD that was set for 2025 has been already crossed. The cumulative Indian investments in Russia, (bulk of which is in hydrocarbons sector) was about US $ 8 billion for the period 2000-2014, while the cumulative Russian investments in India over the same period were about US $ 4 billion, mainly in automotive (KAMAZ) and telecommunications (AFK Sistema) sectors. In 2015-2017, there was a renewed emphasis on increasing the bilateral investment, especially in the hydrocarbon sector.

10. Both the Governments have undertaken initiatives to promote bilateral investments, primarily through facilitating high-level Government to business and Business to Business contacts apart from the on-going investment process in strategic sectors in both the countries. Investment cooperation has been envisaged in some priority sectors such as hydrocarbons, power, coal, nuclear power, fertilizers, IT, mineral and metallurgy, steel, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure projects amongst others.

D. Institutional Framework for Bilateral Economic Cooperation

I. Government-to-Government

11. IRIGC-TEC is the apex G2G forum for bilateral economic cooperation. It is chaired by the External Affairs Minister from the Indian side and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. The 23rd session of IRIGC-TEC was held in Moscow on 14 September 2018. Later, Russian Deputy Prime Minister visited New Delhi on 22 July 2019, and met External Affairs Minister of India. Both co-chaired the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC). The 24th session of the IRIGC-TEC is scheduled to be held in India in 2021.

At present, there are 10 Working Groups (WG) and 5 Sub-Groups (SG) under IRIGC namely WGs on Agriculture, Trade and Economic Cooperation, Priority Investments, Modernisation and Industrial Cooperation, Energy & Energy efficiency, Tourism and Culture, Science and Technology, IT & Communication, Banking and Financial Matters, Pharmaceuticals. The SGs include Trade Barriers, Civil Aviation, Fertilisers, Mining and Modernisation. Meetings of all these WGs/SGs have taken place expect for Agriculture, Trade and Economic Cooperation and Trade Barriers.

Further, following new groups have been created under the next round of IRIGC- Working Group on Transport, Working Group on Urban Development, Gas Task Force under Working Group of Energy and Working Group on Railways.

12.India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) is another G2G mechanism co-chaired by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog on Indian side and Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. 3rd round of the IRSED was held on April 15th 2021 in a video-conferencing mode. There are six coordination committees under the IRSED in six areas– Transport, Agriculture, Digital transformation, SMEs, Trade and Banking and Tourism.

II. Business-to-Business

13. Conscious efforts are being made by both India and Russia to promote establishment of new contacts and wider cooperation between commercial and industrial circles and business associations of the two countries. The main institutional arrangements and delegation visits are as follows:

  • India and Russia have agreed to have enhanced Indian participation in the prestigious St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Accordingly, CII and SPIEF Foundation have entered into a MOU for regular institutionalized B2B interactions and exchanges. In 2021, the Indian delegation was led by Ambassador D.B. Venkatesh Varma along with Embassy officials to the 24th SPIEF-2021 which took place on June 2-5, 2021 in St. Petersburg.
  • Eastern Economic Forum is another important platform for engagement between businesses of both sides. The 6th Eastern Economic Forum was held in Vladivostok during 02-04 September 2021. The Indian delegation led by Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas; Shri Hardeep Singh Puri was by far the the biggest physical delegation this year. He was accompanied by CMD, GAIL and MD, OVL and senior officials from EIL, IOCL, OIL and PLL. An India-Russia Business Dialogue was held during EEF under the co-chairmanship of Minister of Petroleum of India and Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation which included businesses from both sides.
  • Indian delegation led by the Morbi Association of ceramics companies visited Russia to participate in MOSBUILD 2021 in the last week of March.
  • A business delegation of 26 representatives led by ASSOCHAM visited Moscow and St Petersburg during September 27-29 on a 3-day tour. They attended and India-Russia Business Forum and signed an MoU with Delovaya Russia. Mission organized a meeting with the delegation to understand their interests, issues etc. with respect to business in Russia.
  • A business delegation of over 20 women entrepreneurs from FICCI visited Moscow and St Petersburg during September 20-24 to explore opportunities for Indian business in Russia, particularly for women entrepreneurs. The delegation signed MoUs with Ros-congress in the field of startups and education, and decided to sign an MoU with BRICS Women’s Alliance.
  • In 2020, even during covid pandemic, Mission helped organize more than 60 sector- specific B2B events. These included in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, transport, medical devices, manpower, infrastructure, chemicals, shipping & inland waterways, S&T, textiles, ceramics, leather, IT, agriculture, medical devices, diamonds, Ayurveda, education, coking coal and steel, agriculture, etc.
  • On March 11-12, 2019 a high-level CEOs delegation led by CII President, Mr. Rakesh Bharti Mittal visited Moscow and held meetings with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Director, DPM Trutnev, Minister of Industries and Trade and Adviser to the President, Mr. Anton Kobyakov. The meetings focused on identifying potential sectors, cooperation in the Far East and establishing business linkages.
  • A 13-member CII delegation led by Mr Pankaj Bajaj, Director Bajaj Industries Pvt Ltd attended the INNOPROM industrial, trade and export platform of Russia held in Ekaterinburg on July 8-10, 2019. The event also hosted the Global Manufacturing & Industrialization Summit (GMIS) 2019.
  • An Indian delegation led by the Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy of India in Moscow and representatives from nine Indian companies participated in the ‘XI International Information Technology forum with BRICS and SCO Participation’ held on June 10-11, 2019 in Khanty Mansiysk region of Russia.In 2021, Mission represented the Indian delegation to the forum.
  • An Indian delegation led by Ambassador D.B. Venkatesh Varma participated in the Arctic Forum held on December 10-12, 2020 in St. Petersburg where he outlined India’s priorities as observer to Arctic Council and bilateral cooperation with Russia as part of Prime Minister Modi’s Act Far East policy

III. Regional Engagements

14. Collaboration between States of India and Regions of Russia in the trade and economic sphere is an important pillar of overall bilateral relations. There exist many sister-city/state arrangements between the two countries which include economic cooperation. In 2019, with the view to enhance such engagement with the Russian Far East Region, India led a huge business delegation led by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry along with Chief Ministers of Indian states of Gujarat, Goa, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Five MoUs were signed between the Indian States and Russian Regions.

For the Far East, in continuation of the Act-Far East focus, several rounds of discussions were held to finalize the mechanism to operationalize the USD 1 billion Line of Credit. NITI Aayog and Ministry for Development of Russian Far East and Arctic of the Russian Federation are in the process of finalizing the five-year programme 2021-2025 of cooperation in the region.

During the 6th EEF in 2021, a virtual meeting between Gujarat and Yakutia region was organized in presence of Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat and Mr. Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Republic of Yakutia region. The dialogue focused on sectors including diamond and jewelry, pharmaceuticals and ceramics. Virtual meetings were held between various far-east regions with Indian states, e.g., Haryana and Sakhalin region, Uttar Pradesh and Zabaikalsky Region to implement the MoUs.

A meeting was held in November 2020 between Gujarat and Astrakhan region to implement four MoUs signed between Astrakhan State University of Russia and Deendayal Upadhyay Petroleum University, Anand University, Babasaheb Ambedkar University and Gujarat University.

Further, Mission led business delegations went to Mordovia, Irkutsk, Astrakhan, Samara, Kaluga, Ufa, Ryazan, and many other regions to discuss trade and economic cooperation. Other such recent engagements with Russian regions include that with St Petersburg, Yenisei-Siberian belt in Krasnoyarsk, Buryatia, etc., South Russia including Astrakhan, Krasnodar, Chechnya, Volgograd, and Kalmykia, etc., in the north in Murmansk, in the Urals in Khanty-Mansyisk, Kurgan, etc., and as mentioned above, the entire Russian Far East.

IV. Banking Links

15. Development of banking links between India and Russia has witnessed some concrete progress. Several Russian banks have opened their Representative Offices/Branches in India. These include VTB, Sberbank, Vnesheconombank, Promsvazbank and Gazprombank. Similarly, the Commercial Bank of India LLC (JV of two major Indian banks: SBI & Canara Bank) is providing banking services in Russia.




A. Trade in goods:

Russia-India trade from April 2020 – March 2021 , Billion USD

Billion USD

Export from Russia to India


Import from India to Russia


Trade between Russia and India


Russia-India trade from April 2021– June 2021, MLN USD

Million USD

Export from Russia


Import to Russia


Total Trade


Indian Trade with Russia for 2021 H1( first half of year) in comparison with 2020 H1 (USD MN)


Imports to Russia from India

Exports to India from Russia

Total Trade

Trade Deficit

2020 H1





2121 H1





Change (MLN USD)





Change (%)





Source: Federal Customs Service of Russia

B. Trade in services (Jan-Dec 2020, compared to Jan-Dec 2019)

a. Between India and Russia (USD Million)




Total trade:

1 341.190



Exports from Russia to India:




Imports to Russia from India: