India has sought long-term supplies of rough diamonds from Russia as the two countries reviewed their trade relations at a meeting of trade ministers ahead of a summit meeting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
At a meeting with the minister of economic development of the Russian Federation E Nabiullina, India's minister for commerce, industry and textiles Anand Sharma also emphasised the need for early conclusion of joint venture agreements between Indian and Russian pharmaceutical companies.
''Our meeting is important as we are meeting before the BRICS trade ministers meeting and the summit but also before the forthcoming G-20 meeting. The meeting assumes further importance as Russia is attending BRICS for the first time after accession to WTO,'' said Sharma.
Since India-Russia trade is far below its existing potential, both sides also agreed to work for substantial increase in bilateral trade volume.
The two sides also discussed ways of reducing India's unfavourable trade balance and the need for mutual cooperation to increase bilateral trade.
Indian exports to Russia need both greater access and a stronger push for enhancement, keeping in view the huge adverse trade balance, Sharma said.