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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Antony not to seal the Gorshkov deal

Defence Minister A.K. Antony will be in Moscow for three days beginning Tuesday for crucial talks with Russia.
But it emerged ahead of his visit that the much-expected agreement on the renegotiated price of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will not be signed.
The two sides have held several rounds of talks since 2007 to settle the issue on the price escalation of the complete modernisation of the 45,000-tonne carrier for the Indian Navy.
But so far no agreement has been reached.
Indian Ambassador to Moscow Prabhat Shukla told reporters in Moscow at a briefing ahead of Antony's visit that negotiations on the carrier's price hike were on.
He said the last round of talks was held in New Delhi this month and the next round was scheduled for mid-November in Moscow.
The deal could be signed before or during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's regular annual summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in December.
The deal on the complete overhauling of Admiral Gorshkov, considered to be one the most problematic defence contracts with Russia, was signed in 2004 at an initial cost of $1.5 billion (Rs 6,952 crore).
Russia was to modernise the carrier for $750 million (Rs 3,474 crore). The rest was supposed to cover the purchase of 16 MiG-29K fighters to be based on the Gorshkov. However, Russia later said it had underestimated the scale of modernisation. The agreement on additional funding is still undecided.
Courtesy: Mail Today

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