Alexei Chekunkov, Russia's minister for development of Far East and Arctic, is visiting New Delhi to discuss "reliable and safe" transportation of goods through the route using Russian and Indian ports, Interfax reports.
Russia and India are looking at expanding the use of the Northern Sea shipping route that passes through the Artic and which could include the building of processing facilities, Russia's Interfax agency has reported.
Alexei Chekunkov, Russia's Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, is visiting India and a key issue in his talks with Indian officials was the "reliable and safe" transportation of goods through the Northern Sea Route using Russian and Indian ports, Interfax reported on Wednesday.
"It was especially noted that the cost of delivering a container from Vladivostok to India is a third lower than the cost of shipping a container from Moscow," the news agency quoted a Chekunkov statement as saying.
India, which has not explicitly condemned Russia's offensive in Ukraine, emerged as the largest buyer of Russian oil after China last year.
READ MORE: US 'happy' for India to continue buying Russian oil, minus Western services
READ MORE: US targets China, Iran over 'religious freedom abuses'; India let off
Russian oil sales to India up 22-fold last year
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday that Russia needed to focus on boosting energy exports to so-called "friendly" countries, as he said Russian oil supplies to India jumped 22-fold last year.
Novak said energy revenues accounted for 42 percent of Russia's federal budget in 2022 and said the country's energy industry was sustainable, despite the challenges faced by Western sanctions
Russia wants the Northern Sea Route — which runs along Russia's northern coastline and is the shortest shipping route between East Asia and Europe — to become a major shipping lane and has invested heavily in infrastructure there.
It is not currently used in winter due to thick ice. But spurred on by the warming of the Artic, Moscow plans to begin year-round shipping by end of this year.
READ MORE: US tells India its ship rerouted Russia-linked fuel to New York
READ MORE: India firms swapping US dollar for Asian currencies to buy Russian coal