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Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov announced on Monday that India and Russia are currently in talks about a potential free trade agreement that would secure investments between the two nations.

As per the report, during an event in New Delhi, Manturov revealed that the South Asian country is already in an "advance agreement" for a bilateral trade treaty with Moscow. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar was also present.

Despite the pressures from the West, New Delhi-Moscow relations have remained strong.

Previously, India's imports from Russia had been less than five times its exports to the country, with the highest ratio being 4.1 during 2017-18. However, as of January 2023, imports have surged to 15 times the exports.

According to a statement by the Indian embassy, Russian investment in India reached $18 billion in 2017, while India's total investment in Russia is currently at $13 billion. The statement also noted that the overall investment target of $30 billion set for 2025 has already been exceeded.

Between 2000 and 2014, cumulative Indian investments in Russia amounted to around USD 8 billion, while the cumulative Russian investments in India during the same period were about USD 4 billion, mainly in the automotive (KAMAZ) and telecommunications (AFK Sistema) sectors.

In the years 2015 to 2017, there was a renewed focus on increasing bilateral investment, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector.

Both countries have taken steps to promote bilateral investments, primarily by facilitating high-level government-to-business and business-to-business contacts, in addition to ongoing investment processes in strategic sectors, the statement said.

Investment cooperation has been envisioned in priority sectors such as hydrocarbons, power, coal, nuclear power, fertilisers, IT, minerals and metallurgy, steel, pharmaceuticals, and infrastructure projects, it added.