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Indo-Russia deals: Sky not the limit

Saturday, 22 December 2012 03:18

Ambassador A.M.Kadakin briefing press in New Delhi on the eve of the President Vladimir Putin official visit to India. Russian Embassy, 21.12.12

India and Russia to ink a dozen agreements next week

India and Russia will sign ''about a dozen agreements'' during the upcoming visit of President Vladimir Putin here, providing a powerful impetus to further development of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

Russian Ambassador to India, Alaxender Kadakin told mediapersons ahead of Putin's visit next week, that, "Matters of bilateral, regional and international interest, including the ''burning issue'' of Syria, will be topping the agenda of the leadders of both countries."

Asserting that India and Russia would continue to be close friends, the Ambassador said that although Russia's relations with Pakistan and China were also good, but New Delhi and Moscow were strategic partners and close friends.

Kadakin said Russia would like India's relations with Pakistan to improve but it did not mean that Moscow wanted to play intermediary role.

With China, he said, Russia wanted India-China problems to be resolved. ''It is a meticulous process...It took us thirty years to resolve our probelms with China,'' he said, adding, Russia would not do anything that would harm India's interests.

Responding to a question on the delay in the delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov (rechristened INS Vikramaditya), the Ambassador said it was a very sophisticated weapon system and Russia wanted to give the best technology to India which it had not given to anybody else.

The aircraft carried which was delivered by Russia by December end, would not be given before 2013 end now, Defence Minister A K Antony had said in Parliament recently.

To a question on the issue of spare parts for Defence equipment supplied by Russia to India, the Russian envoy said some weapons were supplied by the erstwhile Soviet Union to India and therefore, the production of such spare parts had stopped.

He said Russia was now talking with India for opening service centres, like the one opened for helicopters. On the Kudankulam issue he hoped that stage three and four issues of the nuclear power would be settled since ''active negotiations'' were taking place.

The Financial Express /New Delhi, Dec 21 2012

India, Russia may sign defence deals during Putin’s visit

With differences still persisting between the two countries over the future of their civil nuclear energy cooperation, an agreement on Russia constructing units III and IV of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) is unlikely to be signed during President Vladimir Putin’s coming visit to India.

“I don’t think the agreement on units III and IV will be signed because we are still negotiating it but there will be more than a dozen documents which would be concluded covering the entire gamut of relations, including military cooperation,” Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin told reporters ahead of Putin’s visit for the India-Russia annual summit on Monday.

It is understood that the two countries could ink deals on the sale of fighter jets and aircraft engines to India next week which could be worth some $ 7 billion. Putin is believed to have his sights on selling 42 Sukhoi SU-30MKI fighters and on the long-term supply of 970 warplane engines. Asked about the hitch in inking the agreement for the KNPP III and IV units, the Russian envoy said Moscow believed that the pact should be under the terms and reference of the 2008 accord while India was insisting on negotiations under its new civil nuclear liability law. He was confident that the differences would be resolved and the agreement would be signed sooner rather than later.

He also indicated that the two countries had not found a solution to Russian telecom giant Sistema’s over $ 3 billion investment in India. The issue has been hanging fire ever since the Supreme Court passed an order in February cancelling all 122 licences (including that of Sistema Shyam Teleservices) following allegations of bribery and corruption in the allocation of 2G spectrum. Sistema has challenged the court order and wants the Indian government to find an alternative solution to avoid international arbitration.

Kadakin wondered why India could not protect the investment made by Sistema, particularly since the two countries have a bilateral investment promotion agreement between them.

Asked if Russia was looking at an improved relationship with Islamabad, he said Pakistan was an important country for Russia, particularly in the post 2014 phase after the drawdown of foreign troops from Afghanistan. “However, we shall never supply anything to anyone which can be detrimental to India.”

Ashok Tuteja / The Tribune

New Delhi, December 21

Indo-Russia deals: Sky not the limit

India is expected to sign a slew of deals with Russia during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India on Monday, including in the defence and energy spheres.

The Cabinet Committee on Security on Friday discussed crucial defence deals expected to be signed with Russia worth at least about `30,000 crore, including proposed acquisition of 42 more Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft and 71 Mi-17 V-5 armed helicopters. Russian ambassador to India Alexander M. Kadakin’s assertion on Friday that deals in the fields of energy and defence would be signed comes in the midst of speculation that President Putin hopes to ink treaties, including those on the sale of fighter jets and aircraft engines, which could be worth more than $7.5 billion.

Ambassador Kadakin said, “Let us wait till Monday. All kinds of agreements ... I am saying from outer space to the sea bottom. Even the sky is not the limit. That is why a number of agreements, which will embrace and cover all fields of human activity between India and Russia, will be signed.”

Dec 22, 2012 | The Asian Age

Kudankulam: Russia says discussing n-liability law

Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin Friday said negotiations on issues relating to civil nuclear liability law are still going on and stressed that if India insisted on liability, the price of Kudankulam units III and IV will go up.

The two units are “grandsons of the original agreement” on Kudankulam units I and II which came into effect much before the civil nuclear liability law, he told reporters.

If India insists on nuclear liability, the price of units III and IV will go up, he said. He, however, added that Russia has not changed terms of credit for units III and IV.

Asked about the delay in the delivery of INS Vikramidtya, Kadakin likened the aircraft carrier to a baby. “This is a sophisticated state of the art weapon system. We want a baby delivered who would be healthy, smiling and shouting. So, I don’t think you should be disappointed. If you want a good healthy baby, let us wait,” he said.

The Indian Express/ New Delhi, Dec 22 2012

Differences surface ahead of Russian President visit

Ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India on Monday, the differences over Sistema investments between India and Russia have come to the fore yet again.

Russian ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin maintained that Sistema, which found its 2G licence cancelled on the order of the Supreme Court, was not "a judicial matter but political".

Russians have been arguing that since India and Russia have a bilateral investment protection treaty, the Sistema investment should be insulated and protected.

New Delhi has, however, asserted that it is bound by the judgement of the Supreme Court in the 2G case. 

Though the commercial agreement for reactors 3 and 4 at Koodankulam are far from being signed, a dozen other pacts spanning areas such as defence, energy and space  are expected to be inked during Putin's visit on December 24.

He will be in India for the annual India-Russia summit.

Russia is keen on selling 42 Sukhoi SU-30MKI fighters worth Rs. 20,000 crore, 71 Mi-17V5 choppers worth Rs. 7,000 crore and providing long-term supply of 970 warplane engines.

The proposals to buy these weapons systems were discussed at the cabinet committee on security on Friday. However, it is not clear if the deals would be inked during Putin's visit next week.

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, December 21, 2012

Russian-Indian project of power plant close to completion

At a press conference in New Delhi, Russia’s Ambassador in India Alexander Kadakin said that the construction of the first power-generating unit of a nuclear power plant in the Indian town of Kudankulam has already been completed.

This power plant is a joint project of India and Russia.

Mr. Kadakin said that the plant can already start working.

“In several months from now,” he added, “the construction of the second power-generating unit will be over. As for the third and the fourth units, an agreement about their construction has nearly been reached already – only several details are left to be settled.”

It is expected that the Kudankulam power plant will start working next year.

Voice of Russia, TASS Dec 21, 2012

Moscow: Foreign NGOs Behind India's NPP Protests

First unit of Kudankulam nuclear plant may be launched in next 2 weeks - Indian PM

The protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant that is being built in the south of India with Russian technical assistance are financed by foreign NGOs, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin said on Friday.

“They [protesters] are doing that with funds from abroad,” he said at a news conference ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to India.

He added that the Kudankulam’s Unit 1 “is practically ready for launch” and that Unit 2 will be ready in half a year.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in February that the protests were organized by NGOs funded from the US and Scandinavian countries.

India signed a contract to build the Kudankulam NPP with the USSR in 1988, but construction only started in 2002. In 2010, India and Russia agreed to build at least six power units. The project involves 1,000 MW reactors of the VVER-1000 model being constructed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Russia’s Atomstroyexport, a Rosatom subsidiary.

The construction of the first two units was halted in September 2011 over protests by local residents who demanded the scrapping of the Indo-Russian project, citing the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The protesters blocked all roads to the plant and would not allow the workers to enter.

The work resumed in March 2012. Indian authorities say that nuclear power is necessary to meet the country's growing energy needs.

RIA Novosti /New Delhi, December 21

Russian envoy hails Narendra Modi’s victory

The central government had never encouraged the "diplomatic isolation" of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, foreign minister Salman Khurshid said. "We did not encourage any diplomatic isolation. We did not encourage sovereign countries to take a particular position on Mr Modi. They did take that position and we know that position. If they take another position, we will know that as well," he said.

Khurshid was responding to Russian ambassador Alexander Kadakin's remarks to journalists earlier when he welcomed Modi's election victory. Russia is the second country after the UK that has opened up to Modi in recent weeks.

"He has an elected office ... To have political difference with him and to join the campaign against him on issues that we believe are of far-reaching nature is completely different from his being the chief minister of the state and I hope that he makes the same distinction himself," Khurshid said, adding, "We may disagree with some of his policies and indeed some of the attitudes that he exhibits."

Trying to dispel the notion that he was softening towards Modi, Khurshid reminded everybody that there were still countries like the US which had not opened diplomatic ties with Modi.

"Still, a section of American people think there should not be friendship with the Gujarat government. If there is different thinking in Russia and the UK, then we do not have any problem. We take note when they did not want ties and we will take note when they make relationship," Khurshid said.

In October, the UK ended Modi's diplomatic isolation by opening contact with him after 10 years.

TNN | Dec 22, 2012

Putin to ink slew of deals, take up Kudankulam project on Monday

India is expected to sign a slew of deals with Russia during the visit of Rus­sian President Vladi­mir Putin to India, start­ing Monday, including in the defence and energy spheres.

The Cabinet Committee on Security on Friday discussed crucial defence deals expected to be signed with Russia worth at least about Rs 30,000 crore, including proposed acquisition of 42 more Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft and 71 Mi-17 V-5 armed helicopters. Russian ambassador to India Alexander M. Kadakin said, “Let us wait till Monday. All kinds of agreements ... we are cooperating in various fields.

I am saying from outer space to the sea bottom. Even the sky is not the limit. That is why a number of agreements, which will embrace and cover all fields of human activ­ity between India and Russia, will be signed.”

Describing the Kudan­kulam nuclear projects 3 and 4 as “grandsons” of Kudankulam 1 and 2, the the envoy emphasised that projects 3 and 4 were finalised in 2008 and therefore cannot be covered by the civil nuclear liability law.

Deccan Chronicle | Dec 22, 2012

 

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