Gargi Parsai

PM’s Russia visit “path-breaking,” “forward-looking”

Progress in negotiations on Gorshkov price

NEW DELHI: India will not buckle under pressure from any quarter, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday in response to queries whether New Delhi was being pressured by Washington to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Minister was also asked whether India did not sign a nuclear agreement with Russia last year because of U.S. pressure.

Responding to clarifications on his suo motu statement on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent visit to Russia, Mr. Krishna said: “Let me categorically convey that India will not buckle under pressure from any country because our relationship depends on our understanding of their domestic situation just as their understanding is based on our domestic situation. We will continue along those lines.”

In the Lok Sabha, Mr. Krishna tabled the statement as his attempts to read it were drowned in pandemonium over the issue of price rise.

Allaying concerns, he asserted that there were no conditions or strings attached to the Russian nuclear cooperation agreement with India, including in research and development, construction of power plants and supply of nuclear fuels.

The country had already supplied uranium to India in the past and in the new pact, both sides agreed to explore and develop additional fuel supply arrangements.

The two sides initialled the pact during Dr. Singh’s visit.

Describing the visit as “path-breaking,” “forward-looking” and in keeping with the traditionally cordial relationship, Mr. Krishna said it was primarily to enlarge major areas of cooperation.