New Delhi: Russia has sent India a list of more than 500 products for potential delivery, including parts for cars, aircraft, and trains, four sources familiar with the matter said, as sanctions squeeze Russia's ability to keep vital industries running, reported Reuters.
An Indian government source said the request was unusual in its scope. India is keen to boost trade as it tries to narrow a ballooning trade deficit with Russia. Some companies have expressed concern about potentially falling foul of sanctions. Russia's requests were made weeks ahead of Jaishankar's visit to Moscow starting November 07. It was not immediately clear what was conveyed by New Delhi to Russia during the visit.
India has not joined Western countries in openly criticizing Moscow for the war in Ukraine. New Delhi has sharply increased purchases of Russian oil that have cushioned it from some of the impacts of sanctions.
Jaishankar said India needed to boost exports to Russia to balance bilateral trade, reported Reuters.
An industry source in Moscow, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Russia's Ministry of Industry and Trade asked large companies to supply lists of raw materials and equipment they needed.
The source added that further discussion would be needed to agree on specifications and volumes and that the outreach was not limited to India, reported Reuters.
Russia's Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Indian foreign and commerce ministries and the prime minister's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Western sanctions have crippled supplies of some crucial products in Russia.
Airlines are experiencing an acute shortage of parts because almost all planes are foreign-made. Car parts are also in demand, with global automakers have left the market.
A source in Russia's car sales industry said the trade ministry had sent a list of car parts needed to corresponding ministries and state agencies in other countries, including India, reported Reuters.
The list of items from Russia, which runs to nearly 14 pages, includes car engine parts like pistons, oil pumps and ignition coils. There is also demand for bumpers, seatbelts, and infotainment systems.
For aircraft and helicopters, Russia requested 41 items including landing gear components, fuel systems, communication systems, and fire extinguishing systems, life jackets, and aviation tyres, reported Reuters.
Also on the list were raw materials to produce paper, paper bags and consumer packaging and materials and equipment to produce textiles including yarns and dyes, according to the document reviewed by Reuters.
Russian metals producers like nickel and palladium giant Nornickel (GMKN.MM) have said Western sanctions and self-sanctioning by some suppliers have made it difficult for industrial companies to obtain imported equipment, spare parts, materials and technologies in 2022, posing a challenge to their development programmes. The list includes nearly 200 metallurgy items, reported Reuters.
Russia has been India's largest supplier of military equipment for decades and it is the fourth-biggest market for Indian pharmaceutical products.
But with purchases of Russian oil soaring and coal and fertilizer shipments also strong, India is looking for ways to rebalance trade, the first Indian government source said, reported Reuters.