Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Thursday said India will “walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of the Far East” and announced a $1 billion line of credit for the development of the resource-rich region.
Addressing the plenary session of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok city of Russia, Modi said the friendship between India and Russia was not restricted to governmental interactions in capital cities, but was about people and close business relations.
“India’s connection to the Russian Far East goes back a long way. India was the first country to open a Consulate in Vladivostok,” Indian media reports quoted Modi as saying. “For its development, India will give a line of credit worth $1 billion.”
“My government has actively engaged East Asia as part of its ‘Act East’ policy. I firmly believe that today’s announcement will add a new dimension to the economic diplomacy of the two countries,” he added.
The Indian premier, in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also unveiled the “Act Far East” policy to boost India’s engagement with Russia’s Far East region. “Let us deepen the bond between India and Russia even further.”
The development comes a day after media reports claimed that India was trying to garner Russia’s support as Pakistan attempts to challenge the Modi-led government for robbing occupied Kashmir of its autonomy.
New Delhi had in August abrogated Article 370 of its constitution to snatch away the held valley’s special status — a move which Pakistan fears can pave way for a Muslim genocide in the disputed territory.