More than a month into the Ukraine war, India’s trade with Russia remains suspended after banking channels shut down following sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. A bulk of crude oil and diamond imports also hang in limbo as India is yet to officially allow trade in rupees or Russian roubles.
Bilateral trade with Russia stood at $10.75 billion in April-January, official data shows. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started on February 24. Commerce department officials said trade for February and March will be minuscule because most shipments had been frozen.
Despite being a geopolitical ally and a close economic partner for long, India’s trade with Russia has fallen much behind that of other major powers such as the US and China. Russia is only the 25th-largest trading partner for India as of 2022, accounting for about 2.6 percent of the country’s total trade.
Bilateral trade had fallen to $8.5 billion in 2020-21 as a result of the pandemic from $10.1 billion in 2019-20. Before that, the highest bilateral trade was recorded at $10.68 billion in FY18.