Russian Ambassador to India H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin arrived on a visit to the capital of Tamil Nadu, the city of Chennai. February 14 saw his discussion in the regional Indian-Russian Commerce and Industry Chamber (CIC), a meeting with the local community and a press conference.
One of Chennai’s best halls saw a gathering of more than a hundred representatives of the local community who accorded a warm welcome to H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin. The audience comprising parliamentarians, prominent businessmen, journalists, scholars, professors, doctors, and artists, spoke in favour of further broadening of Russian-Indian cooperation in all spheres. Mr N.Ram, editor of “Hindu”, one of India’s leading newspapers, summed up general sentiments: “The keystone of the shining future of our relations is the fact that Russia has always stood by India’s side in its most difficult times and has made an enormous contribution to the country’s social and economic development”.
The Ambassador thanked Indian friends for their warm words to Russia and stressed the fact that through our joint efforts we have brought Russian-Indian cooperation to the level of special and privileged strategic partnership. It is a unique phenomenon in the practice of international relations. “Now we have an important task before us – to enhance the innovative component of bilateral interaction”, underlined the Ambassador.
Addressing the journalists at the press conference in the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, Alexander Kadakin reminded that on April 13 we would celebrate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. He stressed the important contribution of South India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular to fostering Russian-Indian cooperation in all areas. Speaking about Tamil Nadu, it mainly refers to the construction of Kudankulam nuclear power plant, assembly of Kamaz heavy trucks in Hosur, T-90 tanks production in Avadi, construction of the 11 kilometers long metro tunnel in Chennai. Traditional state commodities such as tea, coffee, and leather goods are much in demand in the Russian market.
TV and press media asked a whole bunch of questions about the acute situation around the flagman project of Russian-Indian cooperation – NPP Kudankulam. The completion of construction of the two almost ready power units has been frozen for four months following the protests of atomic energy opponents.
The Russian envoy assured that NPP Kudankulam is the most advanced and safest in the world, therefore there is no reason to compare it with Fukushima power station built many years ago. The Russian side expresses hope that the NPP will see resumed works in the near future and it will be put into operation pretty soon, thus compensating for the electric power shortcoming in the state. The Ambassador informed that the Russian Side fulfills all its obligations over NPP Kudankulam, while the conflict settlement is in the domain of Indian authorities. Obviously, it should be kept in mind that highly skilled Russian specialists involved in NPP Kudankulam construction cannot stay idle forever. Their skills are in demand in other stations.
“It is important to remember,” said Alexander Kadakin, “that it was Russia which decided to cooperate with India in the peaceful nuclear sphere, while other countries imposed numerous sanctions. We share with Indian friends razor-edge technologies in our disposal, be it space or defence developments. Only the closest allies do so”.
Local press and TV media threw limelight on all the events with participation of the Russian Ambassador, highlighting his remarks about the unique nature of traditionally friendly relations between Russia and India as well as safety and reliability of Russian nuclear technologies.