“Russia’s large-scale cooperation with India in the field of atomic energy is unprecedented in the world”, - Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin says. In an interview to the Voice of Russia on the eve of India’s Independence Day, the Ambassador speaks about Russian-Indian relations and considers their prospects.
But first of all, a few words about the holiday:
“The 65th anniversary of India’s independence is a big event not only for the Indian people, but for their friends in Russia, as well", Alexander Kadakin says. “The best Russian intellects have always supported the heroic struggle of the Indian people for liberation from foreign rule. The USSR established diplomatic relations with India even before the official declaration of its independence. Not so long ago we celebrated the 65th anniversary of these relations. This year is rich in anniversaries. 70 years ago Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi met with Nicholas Roerich and his family in the valley of Kullu. The whole world was involved in the Second World War, and in the meantime these wonderful people were discussing the foundation of the Association of Friendship between India and Russia. This year marks 70 years of broadcasting from Moscow in Hindu. We also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Russian-Indian military and technical cooperation. It is a very important area of the strategic partnership between the two countries. So we have a lot of events to celebrate together with our friends.”
Today the developing economy makes power supply the most important task for India. This area of cooperation with Russia is of particular interest to India. The recent critical events connected with electric power failure only confirmed what we have long known, notes Alexander Kadakin.
“The only way to eliminate ‘hunger’ in the energy sector is to construct nuclear power stations ", says the Ambassador. “The construction of the first power unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power station that is being built according to the Russian technologies is completed, and the secondpower unit is also almost constructed. The agreement on Kudankulam-3 and Kudankulam-4 is reached. The Russian-Indian road map of nuclear power stations’ serial construction is already worked out.”
“Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Kadakin considers India’s participation in the Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system one of the most promising areas of cooperation with India. GLONASS has a great advantage over other international systems”, the Ambassador notes.
Alexander Kadakin explains that GLONASS can work in theGPS system besides others. “Indian specialists are interested in the use of GLONASS in the framework of the ‘safe city’ program, which is responsible for transport, water and energy supply, and firefighting; for establishing cargo transportation via land and water arteries of the country; and for the needs of agriculture and meteorological forecasts.”
And is it possible that against the background of this pleasing, blameless picture, there have recently appeared blemishes in Russian-Indian relations? The large Russian private multi-profile company AFK Systema and its Indian subsidiary company Sistema-Shyam Communications are facing difficulties due to the Indian authorities’ intention to deprive them of licenses. “Yes, there are some difficulties", Alexander Kadakin admits.
“AFK-Systema investments in the Indian economy total about US$ 3.1 billion”, says the Ambassador. “US$1 billion out of this money was invested by our state; it is the money of Russian taxpayers. We cannot allow them to be wasted. Considering India its strategic partner, Russia is providing special conditions for this country in the area of hydrocarbons, the pharmaceutical industry, and fertilizers manufacturing. Meanwhile we have the right to expect the same approach to our investments in India. Strategic partnership is a two-way street.”
Alexander Kadakin is sure that all disagreements in bilateral cooperation will be settled. The Ambassador emphasizes that throughout the history of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and India there have never occurred insoluble problems. According to the Roerichs, overcoming difficulties, we are growing, that is, we are giving renewed impetus to our cooperation.
“Congratulating the Indians on the 65th anniversary of their Independence, we can say that every Russian citizen is the member of the almost 150-million-strong Russian-Indian Friendship Society”, Ambassador Alexander Kadakin says. “And the Voice of Russia radio station makes its contribution to these relations developing its Internet website, and successfully cooperating with one of the FM broadcasters in India. The Voice of Russia programmes are very popular with the Indians. Their audience and the Internet users participate in the Voice of Russia annual conferences. The 7th conference of this kind is scheduled for the end of the year. Traditionally, it will be held in the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi. The Ambassador is sure that ‘radio remains an important channel of communication between the peoples of our countries.”
“We congratulate the Indians on their Independence Day and wish them prosperity, peace, and everything that one can only wish his closest friend,” Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin emphasized.
The Voice of Russia, Natalya Benyukh
Aug 14, 2012