Russia, during the upcoming visit of President Medvedev, will also be looking for big business in the civil nuclear field, though there is trepidation over the impact of the Civil Nuclear Liability Act.

Speaking journalists on Friday, Ambassador Alexander Kadakin said Moscow wanted to set up 14-16 new units, which would considerably reduce the costs. However, there should be a road map, meaning the construction schedule should be decided in advance. “If the planning is done nicely, within a few years one unit would be going critical every year.”

He was expecting the Indians to offer a third site, besides the two nuclear parks allotted to Russia at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu and Haripur in West Bengal. Indian sources have indicated New Delhi's willingness to consider scrapping the Haripur site because of the local opposition to the project and provide a new site.

Mr. Kadakin said the nuclear liability law required some explanation from the Indians on how it would be implemented. Though Russia reckons that the contracts signed for two units in Koodankulam would not come under the ambit of the new law, it wants to know how it will affect future contracts.

“I don't think this law is an impediment to ties with Russia. India has signed the Vienna Protocol. Our thinking is that international obligations are above the law of the land. It is up to the Indian government to reconcile these obligations,” Mr. Kadakin said.

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