Russia will not agree to any curbs on the transfer of sensitive technologies to India, a senior Russian official said as President Pratibha Patil held talks with the Russian leaders.
“Russia is guided by the nuclear cooperation pact it signed with India last year, which does not contain any restrictions on the transfer of technology or reprocessing of spent fuel,” the official said commenting on the U.S. efforts to ban the sale of enrichment and reprocessing equipment (ENR) to India.
Under an inter-government agreement signed in December Russia is to supply to India four third generation VVER-1200 reactors of 1170 MW. The reactors will be set up at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, where two VVER-1000 reactors have already been installed. A commercial contract for the construction of four additional reactors at is expected to be signed later this year.
Russian leaders have assured Ms. Patil that they were committed to enhancing and deepening nuclear cooperation with India.
Russia was all set to move forward and implement the agreement to build more nuclear reactors in India, President Dmitry Medvedev told Ms. Patil during their talks in Thursday, informed sources said.
Cooperation in nuclear energy also came up during Ms. Patil’s meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday, with the Russia premier saying that the two countries should look at ways to augment and expand their cooperation in the sphere of nuclear energy.
The U.S. tried but failed to exempt the ENR transfers from the nuclear export waiver that international nuclear watchdogs granted India last year. However, at the G8 summit at L’Aquila in Italy in July Americans persuaded its partners to refrain from supplying ENR technologies to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The Russian official, who asked not to give his name, told The Hindu that Moscow would not abide by the G8 ban on ENR transfers in relation to India.
“Our inter-governmental accord with India providing for full nuclear cooperation was signed in line with last year’s decisions by the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the International Atomic Energy Commission to lift all restrictions on nuclear trade with India. There is no way this accord can be reversed.”
Proof of commitment
The official said Russia’s massive assistance to India in building its first nuclear submarine was proof of his country’s commitment to full-fledged cooperation in nuclear technologies.
The accord gives India freedom to proceed with the closed fuel cycle, which includes mining, preparation of the fuel for use in reactors and reprocessing of spent fuel.