12 Mar : Giving a fillip to their ties, India and Russia on Friday signed 19 pacts, including three in civil nuclear field and one for purchase of 29 MiG-29 fighters besides inking the revised agreement on Gorshkov aircraft carrier.
The two countries plan to set up a joint venture to produce GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System)-enabled equipment and sign a contract for construction of two reactors at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
Under the agreements in civil nuclear field, Russia will build 12 atomic plants — six in Kudankulam and six in Haripur in West Bengal.
The agreements were signed during the day-long visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who held comprehensive talks with his counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh with an aim of exploring opportunities for further boosting the relations.
They also discussed regional issues, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, in the context of terrorism and agreed to intensify their consultations on Afghanistan the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism in the region.
The pacts in civil nuclear field are Agreement on Cooperation in the use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes and Agreement on Road Map for the Serial Construction of Russian Designed Nuclear Power Plants.
An MoU was also signed on Nuclear Power between NPCIL and Atomstroy Export for construction of Third and Fourth atomic plant in Kudankulum in Tamil Nadu.
The revised agreement on Gorshkov aircraft carrier deal was also signed during the visit. The deal had initially been signed in 2004 at the cost of USD 1.5 billion, along with 16 MiG-29Ks. However, the Russians later demanded USD 2.9 billion, citing escalation of costs.
After protracted negotiations, the two sides settled at USD 2.34 billion.
Russia wants to boost trade with India to 20 billion dollars by 2015 from the current 8 billion dollars.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says India and Russia have agreed to intensify cooperation on Afghanistan and terrorism.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expresses concern over terror groups operating from within Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Putin expressed concern over terror groups operating from within Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying it was a threat to the entire world.
Putin said Russia understood well the concerns of India regarding banned terror outfits operating against it from within Pakistan’s soil.
He added in equal measure that Islamabad had in the recent months initiated action against those groups.
Participating in a video conference with businessmen from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, Putin said: “As far as terror groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan are concerned, it is a matter of worry for the entire region and in fact, the whole world.”
He said due to the proximity of India and Russia to Afghanistan border, the situation in the troubled Asian country “did impact the security” of both the two countries.
“Parts of Afghanistan’s soil continues to be used by terror groups. We understand the concerns of India regarding the activities of banned outfits in Pakistan,” he said.
However, “lets be realistic… Pakistan has taken action against those outfits in the last few months,” he added.
“We hope addressing the problem (of terror groups) will be in the best interest of Pakistan. We need to support those efforts,” he said.
Putin said India and Russia were concerned over terror activities and were strategic partners in the fight against terror.