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Trilateral energy pact between India, Russia and Iran is need of the hour, says energy expert

Modi and Putin

As dynamics in the energy sector is set to drastically change in the coming months with the arrival of President-Elect Joe Biden into the White House, India must look at pushing energy diplomacy through a trilateral energy agreement with Russia and Iran, both rich in natural gas.

In an exclusive interview with IndiaNarrative.com, international energy expert and BJP spokesperson Narendra Taneja said that energy security is crucial for India and a possible concrete partnership between India, Russia and Iran in the area of oil and gas could provide the necessary cushion to New Delhi and the other two economies as well.

Pointing out that Russia and Iran are the biggest sources of natural gas in the world, Taneja said that it makes sense for India to strike a tripartite alliance to cash in on the situation. “India should be focusing on acquiring gas as is in Iran in terms of exploration and production,” he said. At present, India’s per capita consumption of natural gas is among the lowest in the world. However, demand for natural gas in the country is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, Taneja noted. He said that the aim is to ensure supply of natural gas, which is considered environment-friendly, across the country. Russia has already shown its keenness in investing in the Indian oil and gas sector.

India-Iran ties

Taneja also said that India and Iran must resume economic ties after a lull following the US sanctions on the latter. Both countries need to bury the past and build a new relationship, he said. “Iran needs to look at India with fresh eyes,” Taneja said, adding that there will be issues but they need to addressed in a mature manner.

Taneja added that the post Donald Trump era would make the world a more predictable place, as the change of guard in the US would have far reaching implications throughout the world. Supply of crude oil will ease not only globally but also for India, he said adding that geopolitics and geo-economics in the Middle East will witness significant changes.

India-Pakistan relations

He also underlined the need for India and Pakistan to set aside all existing political differences and focus on laying the gas pipelines which pass through Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. “Politics may continue but I think we should go ahead with these pipelines, they have the potential to write a new future for India and Pakistan,” he said. “The pipelines will generate tremendous goodwill for India in these countries and in the process stimulate the economy and create jobs,” Taneja noted. The energy expert pointed out that oil and gas is one sector, which can potentially transform the political landscape of south and west Asia.