Nuclear energy, defence pacts may figure during Putin visit

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin  

Nuclear energy and defence agreements are expected to figure prominently during the working visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin here on Friday.

A delegation comprising senior members of the Russian government and several business leaders is accompanying Mr. Putin, who arrives here at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

India and Russia have traditional relations in a number of areas including defence with Moscow remaining the largest supplier of military ware to New Delhi. Among the slew of matters expected to take a concrete shape include the long-pending price settlement of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov).

Although Russia has been demanding $ 2.9 billion for the carrier, the price under consideration is $ 2.34 billion. Sources in the government said the final price tag would be fixed by the Cabinet Committee on Security which was scheduled to meet on Thursday.

Finalisation of a price has been under negotiations after Russia pushed the price tag for refitting and refurbishing the aircraft carrier, originally to be handed over to India during 2008. The revised timeline for delivery is December 2012.

The initial contract signed in 2004 was for $ 974 million which was later hiked. In addition, the deal includes a separate payment for 16 MiG29K maritime aircraft for the aircraft carrier. Reports from Russia last July suggested that President Dmitry Medvedev visited the Sevmash shipyard and ordered that work on the project be speeded up.

Besides the aircraft carrier, other defence deals are likely to be discussed. These include $1.2-billion deal for 29 additional MiG29 K aircraft, the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft and the joint development of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft.

On the civil nuclear energy side, Mr. Putin is likely to discuss agreement to build more power units in India in addition to the two units being built at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, according reports published in a news magazine published by the Russian Information Department here.

Meanwhile, reports in The Moscow Times said discussion on a possible joint venture in India to produce navigation equipment that would work with both the Russian Glonass system and its U.S equivalent, GPS, is also expected to be taken up.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 7:20:34 AM |

Next Story