India and Russia agree on strategic partnership
In a significant development, India and Russia moved closer by concluding negotiations on the construction of four additional nuclear reactors in Kudankulam as part of the defence relations and to double trade ties in three years.
Addressing press conference with Russian counterpart Victor Zubkov after concluding with him extremely productive and comprehensive discussion on all aspects, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “We have finalised negotiations in regard to reaching an agreement on cooperation in the construction of additional nuclear power plants in India.”
Singh said that we have “reaffirmed our commitments to build upon our defence relations” and expressed satisfaction on the ongoing “collaboration in the fields of Science and technology.
Russian Prime Minister Victor Zubkov with a distinguish business delegation of 150 members is visiting New Delhi to strengthen their existing bilateral ties by declaring open the “Year of Russia in India.”
Along with strengthening bilateral trade and investment ties, both the long time friend countries also agreed on setting up of four extra nuclear reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. Moscow is already building two 1,000-mega watt light water nuclear power reactors there since 1998.
The two leaders made it clear that the agreement can’t be sealed until India completes an IAEA safeguards agreement and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) gives India an exemption.
India has to move the NSG for a waiver after atomic watchdog IAEA finalises the safeguard talks regarding the India-US nuclear deal, now stuck for political reasons.
On the trade front, the two countries will consider the opening of markets through a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement and set a target to boost the trade to $10 billion by 2010.
“If we grow by 30 per cent per year, we might achieve the trade figure of $10 billion by 2010,” Zubkov said at a meeting of the India-Russia Forum on Trade and Investment organised jointly by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Both the leaders agreed to re-double efforts to tap the full potential of economy through active participation cooperation in the various sectors of minerals, diamonds, transport and infrastructure, investment and services and high technology.
“We are investing Russian rupee debt in the Indian economy,” the Russian PM Zubkov said to the captains of Indian industry that Russian rupee funds were being utilised for the newly launched titanium project in Orissa.
Zubkov said Russia was extremely interested in pharmaceutical project and said, “If the products are of good quality, we will seriously support the project.”
During Manmohan Singh’s visit to Russia in November last year, it was decided that the debt money would be used not only for paying for exports from India but also for reinvestment in mutually agreed projects. India’s rupee-debt to Russia stands at $1.97 billion.
Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said that Russian firms were interested in several Indian sectors comprising engineering, metallurgy, automobiles, aircraft building and infrastructure development.
Manmohan Singh said in a concluding statement talks with Russian PM were comprehensive and satisfactory. It has reaffirmed to further strengthen Indo-Russian relations for the mutual benefit and prosperity of people of the two countries, and for our religion and the world.
Read More: IAEA | Delhi | Tamil Nadu | Master Prithvi Nath Marg | Bhola Nath Nagar | Bhagsu Nath | Puremanbhawan Singh | Pure Wade Singh | Katra Gulab Singh | Laxmaneshwar Nath Dham | Sarai Murar Singh | Kota Shiv Pratap Singh | Parsehra Nath | Naugaon Nath | Gola Gokaran Nath | Bhavar Nath | B.t.project | Maruthanathi-project | Kudankulam | Nad | Russi | Parsauni Nath | Manmohan Singh
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