Govt. upsets over Navy Chiefâ??s remark
Dec 06: Indian Government criticised Naval Staff Chief Admiral Suresh Mehta over his remark on Indo-Russian defence relationship as he said, “There should be no more price negotiations over Admiral Gorshkov…, New Delhi should think where its relation with Russia is going and not put all its eggs in one basket.” Defence Minister A K Anthony has pull up for Mehta’s remark over more than one-decade deal at capital on Wednesday as per report said.
As India has a very strong defence relationship to Russia since before its dispersion, the remark of Naval Chief has jolted Indian Government as his remark can put negative impact over Indo-Russia ties. According to senior officials, “Gorshkov issue and other defence-related matters were recently discussed at the highest level between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Vladimir Putin and Naval Chief’s remark may influence the talk” however, the official challenged the Mehta’s remark over India’s unique defence relationship to Russia.
The government is also saddened over Admiral’s disclosure on India’s top-secret nuclear submarine project before the public. It is believed that Admiral Mehta is the first Indian top official to verify the reality of nuclear submarine project. Admiral Mehta has confirmed the topical news reports regarding the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov deal has been in jerky wave.
Russia is now asking more than double cost as per signed deal of worth $974 million. But now Sevmash, the largest shipbuilding complex of Russia has asked a revised price of $3billion as for renovating it. This is the main reason of negotiation. If Russia becomes agree to deliver the aircraft carrier ship after negotiation, it would take two more years as per scheduled mid 2008 as official report says.
The deal has been signed to replace the Indian aircraft carrier ship INS Viraat, which is still performing successfully in the mid-ocean after extending the life span. But as per deal, Gorshkov should be reached in India till July 2008 and now it is looking to be delayed beyond 2010. India’s own native aircraft carrier would be build up in Kochi till 2015, official said.
The controversy began when Russian official had reported that Sevmash had seriously miscalculated the real price of Admiral Gorshkov that was $1.1billion as per signed deal of $974 million. But the situation had become worse when Sevmash had asked over $2billon after refurbishing it. India is not happy with it and the process of negotiation begins since then. India is asking to Russian government to sent Gorshkov on the agreed price singed during the deal.
Gorshkov had entered in the service in 1987, but in 1996 Russian government disagreed to continue its service due to its high maintenance cost and then Indian deal was finalise in 2004 and the carrier was to be reached in India by 2008.
Indo-Russian defence relationship was more than 30 years old since mid 1960s when India began a continuous defence relationship with Russia and purchase and signed the deal of estimating $3 trillion out of which $900 had been spent over modernising process. India had got its nuclear power submarine INS Chakra to Russia on lease basis in 1988, one of its biggest deals. Most of the deals (up to 70 percent) were finalised with Russia and India’s owned most ordnance-delivery platforms and transport/surveillance from Russia or its previous from USSR.
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