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India, Russia ink N-deal; Russia backs India for UNSC seat and combat terror
MOSCOW, Dec 7 (Agencies):
Published on 8 Dec. 2009 12:29 AM IST
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Russia and India agreed on Monday to boost cooperation in the civilian nuclear energy sector, while finally ending a dispute over a warship overhaul. After formal talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday, visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters that Russia would help build four more nuclear reactors in India, in addition to the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam that is scheduled to be launched next year. These four reactors will be built after a new site was selected in West Bengal, said Singh. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant, designed by Russia using Russian technology and expertise, is currently under construction. “We are at the final stage of the Kudankulam project. If everything goes well, we’ll complete next year the launch of the first stage of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russia’s nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko as saying. On Monday, Russia and India also signed an agreement on cooperation in civilian nuclear energy use, which, Kiriyenko said, was worth several dozen billions of U.S. dollars. Singh voiced satisfaction over his country’s nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, while Medvedev said the agreement paved the way for large-scale joint work in civilian nuclear energy use. Meanwhile, the two countries have finally ended a dispute over the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, according to a Kremlin source. Under a contract signed five years ago, Russia should have delivered the aircraft carrier to India in 2008. However, Moscow claimed that it had underestimated the cost of the refurbishment and demanded extra payment, which New Delhi said was “exorbitant.” The source did not specify a figure for the new deal. Singh started his visit to Moscow on Sunday for talks that are expected to bring multi-billion dollar contracts in the defense and energy sectors. As a major purchaser of Russian arms, India has some 80 percent of its weapons supplied by Russia. Russian economic data also showed that trade between the two countries has grown 30 percent annually since 2005 and reached 7 billion dollars last year. Meanwhile, Terming India a “deserving candidate”, Russia today backed its claim for a permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council reflecting present-day realities. “Russia views India as one of the deserving candidates for the seat of permanent member in the expanded UNSC,” says a joint declaration signed here after summit talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The two sides also reiterated their intention to strengthen their cooperation on the issues concerning the reforms of UN and its Security Council. “The UNSC reform should be carried out in a way to reflect the modern-day realities and make this organisation more representative and effective in resolving the existing and emerging tasks,” the Indo-Russian declaration said.

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