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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

India, Russia seal N-deal

Better than 123

Provisions for transfer of enrichment and N-technology, which is denied in the 123 agreement with the US
Will bring uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies even in the event of termination of bilateral ties in this field for any reason

Other agreements


Military cooperation programme extended for another 10 years till 2020, on the after sales and product support of the Russian origin military hardware
A protocol for the joint development and production of multi-role transport aircraft for the armed forces

Moscow, December 7
India and Russia today signed a path-breaking broad-based agreement in civil nuclear field that will ensure transfer of technology and uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies to its nuclear reactors and inked three pacts in the defence sector.

The agreements were signed after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin here, during which they discussed a whole range of issues, including terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.

“Today we have signed an agreement that broadens the reach of our cooperation beyond supplies of nuclear reactors to areas of research and development and a whole range of areas in nuclear energy,” Manmohan Singh told a joint press conference with Medvedev.

The PM said the agreement would deepen and strengthen the already existing nuclear cooperation between the two countries under which four new nuclear reactors would be set up by Russia in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and a site for the fifth one has been identified in West Bengal.

The new civil nuclear pact provides for uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies from Russia even in the event of termination of bilateral ties in this field for any reason.

The Indo-Russian pact on atomic cooperation is a significant document and goes much further than the 123 agreement between India and the US, officials said. The pact also has provisions for transfer of enrichment and nuclear technology, which is denied in the 123 agreement with the US.

Medvedev said the nuclear agreement opens the way for greater cooperation beyond Kudankulam. “The nuclear cooperation between the two countries have a very good future. We are satisfied with the cooperation and I hope today’s agreement will pave the way for greater cooperation in this field in the years to come,” he said.

Asked about provision of ENR to India against the backdrop of a G-8 resolution in July this year under which Russia and seven other countries committed that they will refrain from transferring such technology, he said: “Nothing changes for us.”

The Prime Minister said the agreement on nuclear cooperation is a major step forward and that both the leaders were satisfied over the agreement on nuclear power cooperation.

The two sides also signed agreements on extending their long term military cooperation programme for another 10 years till 2020, on the after sales and product support of the Russian origin military hardware and a protocol for the joint development and production of multi-role transport aircraft for the armed forces.

Manmohan Singh and Medvedev also discussed regional issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, in which both the countries have a stake and favoured a “stable and prosperous” Afghanistan.

India and Russia will intensify cooperation to meet the grave challenges of terrorism and religious extremism.

Noting that he was visiting Russia for the second time in six months, the PM said this reflected the close ties between the two countries. He said Russia is a major power and a factor of peace and stability in the international system. “India accords highest priority in its relations with Russia and this relationship stands on a firm footing and is not influenced by relations with any other country,” he said.

Calling Indo-Russian relationship as “multi- dimensional and multi-faceted”, he said the two countries have decided to raise the level of bilateral trade from the present level to $30 billion by 2015.

He said the two countries have identified areas like information technology and communication for giving that impetus.

The two countries also reviewed their cooperation in the United Nations and in multilateral fora and their role towards successful conclusion of the Copenhagen Summit on climate change. The Prime Minister said the relationship with Russia characterised by mutual trust and confidence reflecting a strong political commitment on both sides to contributing and strengthening the strategic relationship. Describing his talks with Medvedev as “very productive”, the PM said, “A stronger Russia is important for world peace.” — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091208/main1.htm

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