India-Russia cooperation in civil nuclear energy will be wide ranging and cover areas such as nuclear waste and safety of reactors as well, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, during a video conference with businessmen from the country's main metros here.
Mr. Putin also advised a section of Indian business and strategic community to be “realistic'' in its attitude towards Pakistan and take into consideration the action taken by Islamabad against some militant organisations operating along its border with Afghanistan.
Indian officials have already described the civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries as “beyond the Indo-U.S. 123 agreement'' since the Indo-Russian pact has “forward looking'' language on enrichment and reprocessing, technology transfer and fuel supply assurances.
Disposal of waste
“Our cooperation is in construction and building of nuclear reactors, supply of nuclear fuel and India has expressed interest for help in disposal of nuclear waste,'' Mr. Putin said. In the area of safety, Russia had put the Chernobyl mishap behind it and was committing to sharing the best practices with India. In fact, he assured that Russia would provide the latest safety features while constructing the reactors in India. Russia had 30 operating reactors and was planning to put up another 28. All of them had the latest safety features which would be incorporated in the reactors to be set up in India. He indicated that Moscow was hoping for orders of up to a dozen reactors from New Delhi which would enable their supply at affordable rates.
Mr. Putin also drew attention to the partnership being built upon in space research which was also indicative of the growing Indo-Russia strategic partnership.
The Russian Prime Minister termed operations by militant organisations based in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a matter of worry for the “entire region and in fact the whole world.”
Since India and Russia were near neighbours of the two countries the situation there impacted on their security as well.
“Parts of Afghanistan's soil continue to be used by terror groups. We understand the concerns of India regarding the activities of banned outfits in Pakistan,” the visiting Prime Minister said.