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NEW DELHI: India is hopeful that rupee trade with Russia will pick up in the future after the two sides recently spoke about facilitating trade in local currencies, an Indian trade ministry official said on Monday.

India has been exploring a rupee trade settlement mechanism with Russia since soon after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February but the countries have not formalised the rules yet.

New Delhi has become Moscow’s largest oil buyer after China, buying discounted Russian crude well below a $60 price cap agreed by Western nations while also trying to close a growing trade deficit with the country.

India is looking to enhance exports of electronic items to Russia, Satya Srinivas, a secretary at the trade ministry, told reporters in New Delhi.

India, US establish new trade group to bolster supply chains

The two countries are engaging “at all levels” to resolve issues related to trade barriers and a payments mechanism, Srinivas said.

Russia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Bangladesh are some of the countries that are keen on rupee trade with India, he added.

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