Close on the heels of the recently concluded $400-billion mega gas pipeline deal between Russia and China, Moscow wants to work on a pipeline to India “through the Himalayas” that could become the “biggest-ever energy project in history,” Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin told The Hindu.

On the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brazil last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the possibility of building another pipeline along the route of the planned TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India), which would carry hydrocarbons to India.

The project would take an estimated five years and approximately $40 billion to construct. “We are planning to examine feasibility of the Indian initiative to construct a land pipeline which would run from Russia’s southern border to India either along the projected TAPI route or through the Himalayas,” Mr. Kadakin said.

On Sunday, The Hindu reported exclusively on India’s plans to revive its pipeline projects of IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) and TAPI, with a pilot project for gas to Pakistan.

Hopes for the projects to be cleared have brightened by the prospects of India-Pakistan talks, as well as the possibility of a breakthrough in Iran’s nuclear talks with the U.S. and other countries. “If implemented, such a pipeline, now seemingly futuristic, would be the biggest ever energy project in history, which would enhance India’s energy security,” Mr. Kadakin said.

Mr. Kadakin marked out defence ties, valued at $35 billion and 22 future Russian-designed nuclear projects as the areas for India-Russia future cooperation. Mr. Modi has also invited Mr. Putin to visit the Kudankulam nuclear project when he travels to India in December for the annual India-Russia summit to be held in New Delhi.

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