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‘Russia likely to invest trapped rupees in India’: Sergei Lavrov says. Top Points


Russia’s Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday informed that India will offer Moscow options to invest the billions in rupees it has accumulated for exports. Lavrov who addressed a press conference in New Delhi after the 18th G20 Summit meet on Sunday. 

“Our Indian friends said they would propose promising areas they can be invested in,” Lavrov told reporters, citing talks with Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Jakarta, Indonesia, on the side lines of the East Asia summit prior to his arrival to India. “Right now our governments are talking how to use and invest them to mutual benefit.”, Bloomberg quoted Russia’s Foreign Minister. 

With imports from India stagnating, Russia is ending up with an excess of rupees, which its companies have trouble repatriating because of local currency restrictions.

Notably, Sergei Lavrov attended the 18th G20 Summit in place of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. 

On Arms Contract with India

Lavrov also said Russian arms contracts with India remain in force, despite difficulties with payments caused by sanctions imposed by the US and its allies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Notably, Russia has emerged as the top supplier of oil to India over the past year, thereby settling a greater share of trade in national currencies and redirecting shipments east as traditional customers in Europe shunned purchases after President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

On Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed diplomatic victory on Sunday, declaring a G20 summit in India a “success” after the bloc shied away from direct criticism of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We were able to prevent the West’s attempts to ‘Ukrainize’ the summit agenda,” Lavrov said as the two-day meeting of leaders closed.

“The text doesn’t mention Russia at all” Russia’s veteran diplomat said.

“The Kyiv regime destroyed the territorial integrity of its country with its own hand…I believe that some of our Western colleagues understand it too but you know very well that they are placing their bets on Russia’s strategic defeat…” Lavrov said at the press conference. 

Lavrov Criticises the ‘West’

Lavrov also criticised the West in saying, “The West also had long ago promised even 100 billion US dollars per year to prepare economists to counter the negative consequences of climate change, but nothing on that has been done. The declaration also mentions the tasks that need to be done in accordance with the long-standing promises in order to ensure a balance of interest in the global economy…”

Lavrov Hails India’s G20 Presidency

“The Indian presidency has really managed to coalesce G20 members from the global south,” Sergei Lavrov added, suggesting that Russian allies like Brazil, South Africa, India and China had made their voices heard.

“It is a long way to go but this Summit has been a milestone… I would also like to mention the active role of the Indian presidency that has genuinely consolidated the G20 countries from the Global South for the first time in history. Our BRICS partners- Brazil, India, China, South Africa have been particularly active and thanks to these consolidated positions taken by the Global South countries to uphold and protect their legitimate interests…” Lavrov said. 

(With agency inputs)

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Updated: 10 Sep 2023, 04:33 PM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.