Benaulim: India and Russia on Saturday signed key agreements across multiple sectors following delegation-level talks co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin here, including energy and infrastructure space.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for setting up an investment fund of $1 billion. In a first, Moscow has agreed to pump in USD 500 million into the Indian infrastructure space, along with an equal investment by the newly formed National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), to form a USD 1 billion 'Russian Indian Investment Fund'.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) will invest USD 500 million into the joint fund, which will support "attractive investment opportunities and growth of Russian business activity in India, "The money will be invested in infrastructure projects with Russian component. We will look at energy, petrochemicals, transport infrastructure and different projects where our companies can also have a foot in India,"
Modi and Putin will also focus on strengthening energy ties to meet India`s growing thirst for fuel and electricity for its fast-growing economy.
According to separate agreement, a Russian consortium comprising energy giant Rosneft Oil Company, commodities trader Trafigura and private investment group United Capital Partners agreed to purchase 98 percent of Essar Oil for around USD 13 billion.
Rosneft bought a 49 percent stake in Essar Oil's refinery port and petrol pumps, while Netherlands-based Trafigura Group Pte, one of the world's biggest commodity trading companies, and
Russian investment fund United Capital Partners split another 49 percent equity equally. The remaining 2 percent is held by minority shareholders after delisting of Essar Oil.
The deal includes Essar Oil's debt of USD 4.5 billion and about USD 2 billion debt with the port company and power plant. Also, the near USD 3 billion dues to Iran for past oil purchases will continue to be on Essar Oil books.
Rosneft also signed an agreement with ONGC Videsh for education and training in the oil and gas sector.
Both sides agreed to extend cooperation in railways development and to increase the speed of trains between Nagpur and Secunderabad.
An agreement was also signed on cooperation on international information security.
Another MoU was signed for expansion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation between India and Russia.