Libmonster ID: UK-1344
Author(s) of the publication: I. V. ZELENEVA


Doctor of Historical Sciences

Saint Petersburg State University

Keywords: Russian-Indian energy cooperation, energy security, opportunities and threats of the energy dialogue, energy diplomacy

At the beginning of the XXI century, India's economy is developing quite dynamically, which increases its need for energy resources, in their uninterrupted, sufficient and safe delivery. The role of India's partner in ensuring energy security can be played by the Russian Federation.

The mutually beneficial nature of Russian-Indian cooperation is determined by the following factors.

First, the economic development of India, which contributes to increasing the demand for energy resources, which are already in short supply in India itself. The country, home to 15% of the world's population, has only less than 1% of global oil reserves. The Government of India estimates that oil demand will grow by 5% annually over the next 20 years, while natural gas demand will increase by 3 to 4% annually. This means that oil demand will double to 3.1 million barrels in the next 10 years. per day (b / s). At the current rate of production (about 750 thousand b / d), the reserves explored in the country will last no more than 11-12 years.1

To achieve national energy security, India is interested in stable long-term oil and gas supplies. That is why India puts energy cooperation first in its negotiations with Russia. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, by 2025 India will enter the top three largest consumers of energy sources, second only to the United States and China by this time 2.

Secondly, India is interested in Russian specialists working in the energy sector: there is a potential demand for such specialists of almost all profiles. This is evidenced by active cooperation in the field of education and training of international-level specialists involved in Russian-Indian projects.

Third, a special role in India's energy policy is played by nuclear energy, which is the most promising area of cooperation between India and Russia, as it has a well-developed regulatory framework and is characterized by a long period of operation of joint projects.

Fourthly, some researchers point out that India is one of the largest capital markets, which, in particular, can be used to develop the resource and raw material potential of Eastern Siberia and the Far East through the implementation of large international projects. This factor is particularly important for the development of Siberia and the Far Eastern region of Russia, the need for which is confirmed by official documents devoted to Russian energy diplomacy. According to the "Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation", special attention is paid to the formation of oil and gas complexes in the East Siberian and Far Eastern regions (the continental shelf of Sakhalin Island, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Magadan and Irkutsk regions, and the Krasnoyarsk Territory) and the increase in coal production in South Yakutia. 3

Another important factor that distinguishes India from other areas of Russian energy diplomacy is the similarity of the complex of tasks of Russia and India in the foreign economic sphere. The two countries ' national interests (strengthening energy security) coincide or at least do not contradict each other. Geopolitical considerations dictate the need to strengthen these links.


A special place in the sphere of energy cooperation between Russia and India is occupied by projects implemented in the field of nuclear energy: cooperation in this area has been going on since the Soviet Union. A symbol of Russian-Indian cooperation in the nuclear sphere -

page 32

Table 1

Analysis of Russia's energy cooperation prospects

Internal environment

- rich experience of cooperation
-presence of traditional forms of cooperation
- lack of competition in certain areas

- natural and geopolitical factors
- problems of sea transportation
- investment climate in Russia
-problems of the Russian fuel and energy complex

External environment

-strengthening Russia's energy security
- creating new supply
chains - possible cooperation within the Eurasian Union
- developing Russia - India - ASEAN trilateral cooperation

-growing interest in the Indian market on the part of various states
-Russia's "deregulation" of foreign economic relations
- the level of resource provision in India
- India-China relations

Compiled by the author.

construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. At an official meeting in December 2013, the two leaders agreed to supply goods and services for the construction of power units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam NPP and related supplies of nuclear fuel. The agreements signed within the framework of the Russian-Indian strategic partnership are the result of more than 20 years of joint dialogue between specialists from the two countries.

Joint projects in the field of oil and gas are Sakhalin-1, Sakhalin-3 and Sakhalin-4. Gazprom and Zarubezhneftegaz are involved in the exploration and development of an offshore gas field in the Bay of Bengal. In addition, during the last visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi in December 2013, "the Indian side confirmed its interest in the participation of Owenjisi and Owenjisi Videsh Ltd in existing and new projects in Siberia, the Far East and the Arctic shelf"4.

Equally important and promising is Russian-Indian cooperation in the electric power industry. Joint projects in the thermal and hydroelectric power industry (TPP "Bar", "Bokaro", "Obra", etc.) are of particular importance here.

The experience of mutual cooperation between the Russian power engineering company Power Machines is interesting.


Economic issues are becoming increasingly relevant in global politics, so our SWOT analysis (see Table 1) will help us identify the weaknesses and strengths of energy cooperation between Russia and India, as well as emerging opportunities and threats.

Speaking about the prospects for cooperation between Russia and India, it is necessary to identify Russia's strengths, namely, the most important aspects that distinguish our country from all India's partners in the field of energy.

First, it is worth remembering the rich experience of bilateral energy cooperation, which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when the main item of Soviet exports to India was kerosene, the supply of which provided up to 60% of the country's demand for this type of fuel.5 After India's independence in 1947, relations between the two countries not only did not deteriorate, but also transformed into closer cooperation. It was Soviet specialists who were engaged in geological research and drilling of the first exploration wells.

Secondly, it is thanks to the rich experience of working together in the energy sector that Russia and India have developed traditional forms of cooperation that help our country stand out from all competitors. Such forms include joint work at enterprises built on the territory of India with the help of the Soviet Union, as well as modernization of these facilities with the help of the Russian side. Traditional forms of cooperation include joint work in the field of nuclear energy.

Another factor that allows us to speak about the uniqueness of Russia as an energy partner is the presence of certain areas of energy where Russia has no competitors. According to a Japanese expert

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method that identifies factors in the internal and external environment of an organization and divides them into four categories: StrengthsWeaknessesOpportunities, and Threats.

page 33

A. Kamato, this applies primarily to the development of fast-neutron nuclear reactors, in which India is extremely interested 6. According to the Federal Target Program "Nuclear Energy Technologies", adopted by the Government of the Russian Federation in 2010, the creation of innovative fast-neutron nuclear reactors is planned by 2020.

Despite all these factors that make it possible to justify the prospects for Russian-Indian cooperation in the field of energy, there are also some negative aspects that may hinder the development of the energy dialogue between the two countries.

Among the weaknesses of cooperation between Russia and India, first of all, it is necessary to note natural and geopolitical factors that significantly complicate the implementation of all the ideas of Russian energy diplomacy in relation to India. The geographical location makes the supply of hydrocarbons to India unpromising due to the too long delivery route 7.

The sea route for delivering certain types of energy resources seems to be more profitable, but there are also problems here. The structure of Russian oil export terminals favors the export of Russian oil to Europe, while sea transportation to India is complicated by the difficult situation in the Suez Canal and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (terrorist and pirate attacks).

In addition, the investment climate in Russia is slowing down the pace of development of Russian-Indian cooperation. Despite the fact that there are a large number of investors in India who are ready to invest in Russian energy developments, some conditions for conducting such operations, in particular, the imperfect legal framework, as well as high investment risks, do not allow for the full development of this area.

Another serious problem is the technical equipment of the Russian fuel and energy complex( TEK), which does not allow to fully meet Indian requests for certain raw materials. A striking example is the actual lack of production of liquefied natural gas in Russia, which can be transported by sea. In addition, such a promising vector of cooperation with India as hydropower cannot be fully developed due to problems in the Russian fuel and energy sector:" ... there are few prospects in the field of hydropower due to the fact that the Russian Federation has stopped producing equipment for small and medium-sized hydroelectric power plants, in which India is particularly interested " 8.

Among the external factors that confirm the prospects of the Indian direction of Russian energy diplomacy, we should note the strengthening of Russia's energy security and independence, since cooperation with India, with its favorable development, will allow us to talk about strengthening Russia's position in the global energy market.

This issue is particularly relevant in the light of recent developments related to the introduction of European sanctions against Russia (in connection with the events in Ukraine), which, of course, can affect Russian-European energy cooperation, making it less and less profitable for the Russian side.

It should also be taken into account that cooperation between Russia and India, if it develops favorably, can contribute to the formation of new supply chains. The fact is that the supply of hydrocarbons to India is unpromising due to the too long delivery route. But with closer cooperation, both sides will be forced to develop more profitable schemes, which in the future may give impetus to the development of new areas of Russian energy diplomacy. One of these forms could be the creation of new joint ventures for the production of hydrocarbons in Russia (following the example of Sakhalin-1 )and in third countries (primarily in Central Asia). India could sell the resulting hydrocarbons to other countries.

The development of Russian-Indian energy relations can contribute to the formation of cooperation across the continent. For example, the newly created Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)The government plans to develop joint work in the field of energy, form expert groups to develop preferential trade regimes with Israel and India.

The development of cooperation between Russia and India can also have a positive impact not only on the formation of an energy partnership along the Russia - India - ASEAN trilateral line, but also on strengthening its position in the Asia-Pacific region, which is certainly a priority area of Russia's foreign policy. Back in 2010, the ASEAN - Russia Energy Cooperation Program for 2010-2015 was adopted, aimed at deepening cooperation in the development of alternative and renewable energy sources, energy infrastructure, peaceful use of nuclear energy, coal, and oil and gas exploration.

Analyzing the threats that stand in the way of forming broader Russian-Indian energy cooperation, it should be noted that the growing interest of other states in India is most dangerous for the possible prospects of Russian energy diplomacy in the Indian region.

The most dangerous threat to the development of Russian energy diplomacy in India is the activity of the United States and France in the field of nuclear energy, which is very promising for the development of Russian - Indian cooperation. At the moment, India and France have an agreement on cooperation in the construction of 6 nuclear reactors in Jaitapur. Consensual-

page 34

Table 2

Analysis of India's energy cooperation prospects

Internal environment

- privileged partner status
-liberalization of the oil and gas sector
- growing demand for energy
resources - the need to expand imports
- the need to develop the infrastructure market

- Investment climate in India
-updated Indian legislation in the field of nuclear energy

External environment

-improving the economic
and social situation in the country
-changing the foreign policy picture of the world
- more fruitful coordination between Russia and India in international structures

- slowing growth of the Indian economy
-diversification of energy flows
- Indian parliamentary elections 2014

Compiled by the author.

An agreement on this issue, including the supply of nuclear fuel for the entire life of these reactors, was signed in February 2009 between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. and the French company Areva, and is now being actively implemented.10

Another threat, which in the long run can transform into a serious problem that can have a significant impact on the development of Russian energy diplomacy in India, is of a political nature. India-China relations are of particular importance here (Table 2). It would seem that the conflict situations around these two countries should not affect Russia's interests at all. But this situation, like everything else in international relations, is all-encompassing.

It should be noted, first of all, that India already has the status of a privileged partner of Russia, which it has gained due to its rich experience of cooperation. Of course, this fact makes it stand out among many importers of Russian energy resources, since the existence of such a status indicates the importance and necessity for Russia to develop joint work with this state. From a practical point of view, this is manifested in the creation of certain mechanisms of interaction at the public and private levels, which are designed to determine the main directions of mutual cooperation and solve existing problems.

Second, India is liberalizing and denationalizing the oil and gas sector, which has allowed"both private Indian companies and foreign corporations to conduct exploration, field development, commercial production and sales of oil and natural gas under the terms of production-sharing agreements" 11. Due to the development of this process, joint projects of India and Russia are particularly promising (for example, at the last St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Indian state-owned company ONGC and Rosneft signed an agreement on joint development of resources in the Arctic).

In addition, the most attractive projects are those in the field of joint infrastructure development, the global market of which is the most promising.

The unfavorable Indian investment climate is one of the factors that weaken the prospects of this region as a direction of Russian energy diplomacy. According to the researcher D. Abramov, for many years the populism of Indian politics has sown real chaos in the field of investment, and "the system of patron-client relations that permeated Indian politics and public life, in fact, paralyzed the possibility of effective and dynamic reforms, made it extremely difficult to quickly return on investment in the development of infrastructure projects and, as a result, worsened the quality of investment climate in the country as a whole " 12.

Among the factors that can slow down the growing process of cooperation, we can also highlight the Indian legislation in the field of nuclear energy. Despite the fact that in the field of energy cooperation, special hopes were pinned on joint projects in the field of nuclear energy, recently this area of Russian-Indian joint activities, according to Russian expert S. A. Baranov, "began to stall due to the fault of the Indian side"13.

In 2010, India, even before the Fukushima disaster in Japan, passed a Law on Liability for Nuclear Damage, which imposes liability on suppliers and suppliers.-

page 35

ka equipment. In international practice, all responsibility is assigned to the operator (the 1960 Paris Convention on Third-Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy, the 1963 Vienna Convention on Liability for Nuclear Damage, the national laws of the United States and Canada).

The main object of Russian-Indian cooperation in the nuclear sphere is the construction of two nuclear power units with Russian VVER-1000 reactors, which has been underway since 2002 at the Kudankulam site. This project was disrupted for many years due to mass protests of local residents opposing the construction of a nuclear power plant, and because of the Law on Material Liability of 2010. In 2014 Russia and India have finally signed a general framework agreement on the construction of the second stage of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The relevant contract is expected to be signed in the near future. This suggests that the parties managed to find a compromise on the scheme of civil liability insurance for nuclear damage. Details of the decision of the "insurance precedent", which has no analogues in the world, are not disclosed by either the Russian or Indian side.

Threats to Russian-Indian cooperation in the field of energy include a slowdown in the growth rate of the Indian economy, which in 2012-2013 did not exceed 6%, and in April-June 2014 decreased to 4.4% 14.

Another factor that could jeopardize the priority of the Indian direction of Russian energy diplomacy is the rapidly developing relations between Russia and China. The most striking proof of this is the contract signed on May 21, 2014 for the supply of Russian gas to China over the next 30 years, the total price of which reaches $400 billion.

Of course, against the background of such productive cooperation, the prospects of India as a direction of Russian energy diplomacy seem less ambitious. However, if the priorities within the Russia - India - China triangle are correctly set, the Indian side will not only be as good as the Chinese side, but can also contribute to the deepening of the energy partnership.

* * *

So, promising vectors of Russian energy diplomacy in India may include::

- oil and gas exploration and production both in Russia and India, as well as in third countries;

- Large-scale gasification of India, carried out with the help of the Russian side;

- Russia's participation in the electrification of India, which can be expressed in the supply of special equipment, as well as the construction of power plants using Russian technologies;

- joint activities in the field of nuclear energy.

Thus, we can conclude that there are problems in the framework of Russian-Indian energy cooperation, the solution of which largely depends on the future partnership of these countries. It is obvious that the issue of "energy bridges" - transit routes for oil and natural gas-is most acute on the Eurasian continent. They become the objects of geopolitical games. As energy consumption increases, energy interdependence in the world will increase, as will the struggle for control over energy resources.

It is advantageous for Russia not to play on contradictions, but to invite neighboring countries - Central Asia, China, India, and the Asia-Pacific region-to energy cooperation. Despite their rather strong political and economic differences, achieving energy security is a common problem that can link the interests of States located in these spaces together.

1 See: Tomberg I. K. Prospects of the Russia - India Energy Dialogue // Analytical notes-appendix to the magazine "International Life" -

Nivedila Das Kundu. 2 Energy cooperation between India and Russia: Policy and approach // Russia and India Report - htpp:// articles/2012/10/11/energi_cooperation_between_india_and_russia_po licy_and_approach_18291.html

3 Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2030 -

4 Joint statement on the results of the official visit to the Republic of India of the President of the Russian Federation V. V. Putin "Partnership for Mutual Prosperity and a better World Order" from 2012 / / Official website of the President of the Russian Federation -

Sergeeva O. 5 A new foundation for old friendship -www.oilru.eom/n/r/84/915/

Kavatpo A. 6 Silnyye i slabye strasti Rossii v Azii [Strong and weak sides of Russia in Asia]. 2013. N 6. P. 124.

Nivedita Das Kundu. 7 Op. cit.

Bondarenko 8 Rossiyskiy biznes v Indii: uspekhi i problemy [Russian Business in India: Successes and Problems]. 2013. N 10. P. 61. (Bondarenko A.D. 2013. Rossiiskiy biznes v Indii: uspekhi i problemy // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 10) (in Russian)

9 The EAEU is an international integration economic association (union), an agreement on the establishment of which on the basis of the EurAsEC Customs Union was signed in Astana (Kazakhstan) on May 29, 2014. (to enter into force on January 1, 2015) Three EAEU member states - Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus-undertake to guarantee the free movement of goods and services and labor, implement coordinated policies in key sectors of the economy: energy, industry, agriculture, transport (author's note) - http / / ru-an. info / %DO%B2%DO%BE%Dl%82%DO%B8% DO%B2-%DO%BO

Yurlov F. N. 10 India: nuclear energy and geopolitics // Asia and Africa today. 2013. N I. S. 7. (Yurlov F. N. 2013. Indiya: yadernaya energetika i geopolitika / / Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 11) (in Russian)

Kalkman Ya., Keller A., Notaker D. 11 Neftekhimiya Azii: na puti k nezavisimosti [Petrochemistry of Asia: on the way to independence]. 2013. N 3. P. 97.

Abramov D. 12 Asian colossi on clay legs? // World Economy and International Relations. 2013. N 1. С. 122. (Abramov D. 2013. Aziatskie colossy na glinyannykh nogakh? // Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya. N 1) (in Russian)

Baranov S. A. 13 Russian-Indian cooperation in the field of energy // Asia and Africa today. 2014. N 2. P. 63. (Baranov S. A. 2014. Rossiysko-indiiyskoe sotrudnichestvo v oblasti energetiki // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 2) (in Russian)

14 Total Trade 2012 - 2013. Top 50 Countries by Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry -


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