In a move to strengthen maritime cooperation ties, India is going to build 24 cargo ships for Russia in the next three years. A deal regarding the same is expected to be formalised on Thursday in Astrakhan, Russia, mentioned Dmitry Dubovik, the head of the Caspian International Integration Club ‘North-South’.
This agreement aims to enhance maritime trade via the Caspian Sea, the largest inland body of water in the world. The signing of this deal is a testament to India’s shipbuilding capabilities and the nation’s commitment to bolstering ties with Russia.
The construction of the first four ships will commence in the 1st quarter of 2024 at a shipyard in Goa. Three kinds of ships, including chemical tankers, container ships, and bulk carriers, will be built. All 24 vessels will be handed over to Moscow before 2027, per reports.
This move comes following the European Union’s sanctions against Russia, which has prompted Moscow to redirect its trade routes towards the east. India, a growing economy with a strategic geographical location and technological capabilities, appears to be the ideal collaborator.
Also, though the Caspian Sea goes unnoticed in global shipping, it has witnessed a rise in shipping activities. Nestled between Asia and Europe and bordering Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea has become an important water body for Russia’s revised trade routes.
This development will reshape the geopolitical landscape as the Caspian Sea is rich in oil and natural gas reserves, which has led to territorial disputes. However, new trade activities via the Caspian Sea might lead to a shift from these disputes to a focus on sharing economic advantages, bolstering an era of shared prosperity among the Caspian nations.
The India-Russia agreement is an important milestone which could lead to the growth of new trading centres in the East.
References: India sea trade news, India shipping news
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