Russia Offers India to Join Its Arctic Projects

Photo: Schulz Helge/

Russia Offers India to Join Its Arctic Projects

India has been showing a lot of interest in Russia’s major projects in the Arctic.

In the past week, Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Puri met Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian-based oil corporation Rosneft. During the meeting they discussed the massive Arctic oil project of Vostok Oil to be implemented by Rosneft on the Taimyr Peninsula, Krasnoyarsk Kray, Russia. Rosneft offered Indian oil companies to invest into the project; according to The Economic Times, a consortium of Indian state-owned oil firms, including ONGC and Indian Oil are in preliminary talks with the Russian oil major on this matter.

In turn, Indian energy companies Petronet LNG and ONGC Videsh are reportedly discussing buying a stake in Russia’s planned liquefied-gas project Arctic LNG 2 run by Russian gas giant Novatek. The companies are talking about acquiring a 9.9 per cent stake from Novatek, according to Bloomberg. There are also reports that Indian investors are considering participating in prospective petrochemical projects to kick off in the Russian Arctic.

There are solid reasons behind India’s interest in the Russian High North. As a country with a rapidly developing economy, India is focused on securing long-term access to reliable sources of energy supply -- and this is something the Russian Arctic can provide. Another concern for New Delhi is the rise of China as a regional and global player. In this context, Beijing’s growing footprint above the Arctic Circle is reportedly regarded by Indian policymakers as a threat to India’s national interest. In turn, Russia practices an open door policy in regards to its Arctic projects: being interested in diversifying both the sources of investment and international commercial ties, the country’s government is determined to give equal access to Russia’s riches to all willing to invest. Given the aforementioned, India’s contribution to the Russian Arctic projects may not just give a boost to the partnership of these two nations, but also, as a side effect, help improve relations between India and China.
Alexander Stotskiy
7 September 2021
Arctic Today