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Energy key part of Indo-Russian strategic partnership: Pradhan

IANS 17 Jun 2014, 6:59:12 IST
IANS
Moscow: Energy security is an essential element of the Indo-Russian strategic partnership and cooperation in the sector will be furthur strengthened, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said here Monday.

"Russia has always been a longstanding, time-tested friend and a strategic partner, and energy is an essential element of our relationship, and we look forward to working further in this sphere," Pradhan said in his address at the opening plenary of the 21st World Petroleum Congress being held here.

Addressing the congress, which has the theme of “Responsibly Energizing a Growing World”, the petroleum minister invoked India's philosophy of "Vasudhaiv Kutubakam" (The world is my family) to say that energy policies must serve broader economic growth, while its benefits should not exclude the poor and the vulnerable.

"Energy is one amongst five elements that are sacred to the Indian way of life and thus by definition needs to be sustainable and inclusive", Pradhan told energy sector leaders from around the world gathered here for the tri-annual event.

It is the largest event of the oil and gas industry and organised by the World Petroleum Council, of which India is a member. The council currently has 65 member nations, accounting for 95 percent of the world's consumption and production of oil and gas, India's petroleum ministry said in a statement.

This congress, being held at Moscow's Crocus Expo International Exhibition Center takes on particular importance amidst Russia's conflict with the West over the Ukraine crisis.

Rising oil prices since the seizure of territory in Iraq by an Al-Qaeda splinter group -- the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-- has also focused attention on the event.

Last month, Russia and China signed a historic $400 billion gas deal by which Russia's state-run energy giant Gazprom will supply 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas each year for a 10-year period to the China National Petroleum Corporation.