Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies during the 8th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok. Putin said that PM Modi is doing the “right thing” in promoting the Make in India programme.
During his address at the 8th EEF, he responded to a question from the media regarding Russian-made cars by emphasizing the importance of utilizing domestically produced automobiles. Putin pointed out that India, under the leadership of PM Modi, has already demonstrated commendable policies in this regard.
Putin said, “You know, we did not have domestically made cars then, but we do now. It is true that they look more modest than Mercedes or Audi cars, which we bought in vast amounts in the 1990s, but this is not an issue. I think that we should emulate many of our partners, for example, India. They are focused on the manufacture and use of Indian- made vehicles. I think that Prime Minister Modi is doing the right thing in promoting the Make in lndia programme. He is right.”
Putin stressed that using Russian-made automobiles is perfectly acceptable and does not violate WTO obligations, particularly for state purchases. He advocated for establishing guidelines to encourage officials to use domestically manufactured cars.
Furthermore, Putin expressed his positive outlook on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), stating that it would benefit Russia and enhance logistics. He noted that the IMEC project had been under discussion for several years and believed that the involvement of the United States, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, and India was ultimately advantageous for Russia. He highlighted that this corridor aligns with Russia’s North-South project and doesn’t pose any hindrance.
His comments followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor during the G20 Summit in New Delhi. This historic agreement was inked by India, the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union.
Speaking at the forum, Putin said, “I believe that this will only benefit us. I believe that this will only help us develop logistics. Firstly, this project has been discussed for a long time, for several years.”
“True, the Americans jumped on this train at the last moment. But for them, I do not see much point in being in this project. Only, perhaps, from the point of view of business interest. Meanwhile, the additional movement of goods along this corridor is, in fact, an addition to our North-South project. We have nothing here we see something that could somehow hinder us,” he added.
At the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his enthusiasm for the project, underlining its potential for economic integration between India, South Asia, and Europe.
This is a first-of-its-kind initiative on cooperation on connectivity and infrastructure involving India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, EU, France, Italy, Germany and the US.