New Delhi: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday began a three-day visit to Moscow, seeking stake in more oil and fields in Russia and inviting Russian investment in refining and petrochemical business. Pradhan met Russian oil firm Rosneft officials to discuss collaboration between the two nations. “Met with Mr Didier Casemiro, Deputy CEO, Mr Krysz Zielicki, Head Business Development, Mr Anand, CEO – Nayara Energy representing @RosneftEN. Discussed scope of collaboration in the Oil & Gas sector & ways to leverage Russian expertise in Indian E&P and Refining sectors,” Pradhan tweeted after the meeting. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalA Rosneft-led consortium had in 2017 bought Essar Oil that operates 20 million tonne refinery at Vadinar and over 5,500 petrol pumps in the country, for $12.9 billion. Essar Oil has since been renamed Nayara Energy. Pradhan welcomed Rosneft to make new investments in refining and petrochemicals business in India. He also met Russian officials to discuss bilateral cooperation. “Met State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Viktor Evtukhov and explored avenues for strengthening economic cooperation, enhancing flow of investments between our two countries,” he said in another tweet. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIndia and Russia have a long history of cooperation in the steel sector. “Deliberated on further strengthening our relations in this sector in areas of coking coal sourcing, technology transfer, skill development etc,” he said. He also held discussions with Russian Deputy Prime Minister & Presidential Envoy to Far Eastern Federal Districts of Russia, Yury P Trutnev. “We discussed to expand the scope of co-operation between India & Far Eastern Russia, in the energy and steel sectors,” he tweeted. “Also discussed to further co-operation in the sourcing of metallurgical coal and crude oil from Far East of Russia. Reiterated that Russia is a valued & important energy partner for India in its objective of transforming into a gas-based economy.” India is seeking oil and gas fields in Far East Russia to boost its energy security. “In our further discussions with Trutnev, we also talked about potential Indian investments in oil & gas and steel sectors in Far Eastern Russia,” he said. Pradhan is in Moscow ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia. Modi will be the chief guest at this year’s Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok between September 4 and 6. Modi would also meet the Russian President for the annual summit. “Also, reviewed the progress in these sectors in the run-up to the visit of Hon. PM Shri @narendramodi ji during the first week of September to Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum and for the 20th Annual Bilateral Summit,” Pradhan tweeted. Energy-hungry India is keen on sourcing one million barrels per day of oil and oil-equivalent gas from Russia and had identified Sakhalin-3 in the Far East, Vankor in East Siberia, and Terbs and Titov oilfields in Timan Pechora region as fields for potential collaboration. But it has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts. OVL already has 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in Far East Russia and in 2009 acquired Imperial Energy which has fields in Siberia for $2.1 billion. Russia is wooing Indian investments in its Far East ahead of Modi’s Vladivostok visit to balance China’s expanding presence in the resource-rich region.