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India is holding talks with Mongolia and Russia on coking coal imports to reduce dependence on already existing suppliers, Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

New Delhi is also discussing coking coal supplies from Russia and is considering an opportunity for establishing joint ventures in the coal sector, the minister said. “We have also initiated talks on behalf of the Indian government with the Russian authorities and signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation for undertaking coking coal ventures,” he noted.

India intends to increase coking coal purchases in connection with the steel production growth program, the minister said.

 “The talks are being taken forward by public sector companies in India, including Coal India and SAIL,” the minister added.

Russia intends to increase coal supplies to India to 28 mln tonnes by 2025, First Deputy Minister for Far East and Arctic Development Sergei Tyrtsev said last October.