Nepal’s Call for Russian Investment in Hydropower and Fertilizer Industries


Kathmandu, March 20: Finance Minister Barshaman Pun has called on the Government of Russia to invest in Nepal’s hydropower generation and chemical fertilizer manufacturing.

During a meeting with Russia’s ambassador to Nepal, Aleksei Novikov, who visited the Minister to congratulate him on his recent appointment to the post, the Finance Minister urged this, according to the Minister’s Secretariat.

“We have guaranteed an international market for the consumption of power generated in the country. Nepal’s hydropower sector is a suitable area for investment for the international community,” the Minister said, sharing about the government policy to open a chemical fertilizer factory within the country. “If Russia is interested in investing in it, we are ready to enable an atmosphere towards this end,” he said.

Stating about the government’s decision to host the Nepal Investment Summit on April 28-29, the Minister urged the Russian ambassador to encourage more and more investors from his country to join the event.

In response, the ambassador welcomed the Minister’s proposal, pledging to talk with investors in Russia about the matter. As he said, geopolitically, Nepal presents a highly potential and positive zone for Russian investment.

According to the ambassador, a delegation from the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be visiting Nepal on Thursday to assess potential areas for investment through the Nepal Investment Summit. The delegation will engage in discussions with government officials, the representatives of Investment Board Nepal and the private sector.

In the meeting, the Minister expressed concerns about the reports of enrollment of Nepali youths in the Russian Army sans a bilateral agreement, calling on the Russian government to facilitate the safe return of those Nepali recruited in the Russian military forces.

The Minister also drew the attention of Russia to enable an atmosphere for sending the bodies of those Nepali reportedly killed in the Russia-Ukraine War to home, providing treatment facilities to the injured and compensation to the bereaved families.

According to the Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already made it clear that Nepal has no policy of sending its citizens to join the Russian Army, but Nepali citizens who reached there join the army force through various channels. The matter is a grave concern of the Nepal Government and the Nepali citizens as well. “I, through you, urge the Russian government to enable an atmosphere for the safe arrival of Nepali who are in the Russian force to get back home.”

In response, the ambassador clarified that the Nepal Government bears no responsibility for the recruitment of Nepali in the Russian army. He argued that neither has the Russian government compelled them to recruit. According to him, Nepalis who reach there via illegal routes, including India and Dubai, do so voluntarily.

Furthermore, he informed the Minister that despite Russia’s efforts to repatriate all Nepali individuals in its military, there have been reports of reluctance among many Nepalis towards this idea.

He also shared to the Minister about ongoing preparations on the part of the Russian government to negotiate the release of Nepali citizens held captive by Ukrainian forces through an exchange involving Ukrainian military personnel under the control of the Russian Army.