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H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin, Ambassador of Russia to India, held a press conference on the upcoming Russian-indian summit in Moscow - PART 2

Thursday, 08 December 2011 16:02

On December 7 Ambassador of Russia to India held a press conference for the leading Indian media and described the current state and prospects of bilateral relations.

Russia yet to receive proposal for alternative site to Haripur: Russian Ambassador

Russia is yet to receive a proposal for another site to the Haripur nuclear plant, the Russian Envoy to India, Mr Alexander M. Kadkin, said on Wednesday.

“It is not that we are looking for any other site. We had proposed to expand the existing site at Kudankulam where unit number 3 and 4, 5 and 6 and even 7 and 8. In Haripur we see problems. Geologically, Haripur it is much worse than other sites. We have been waiting for one year. Orissa and Andhra Pradesh were mentioned all in passing. We have been waiting for another site for almost a year now. We are ready. No concrete proposal has come for any alternate site,” the Envoy said.

Commenting on the forthcoming India-Russia Summit meeting, the Envoy said that the overall motto of the summit is “we are with India in rain or shine and we expect that our nuclear cooperation despite all quarrels and internal problems will continue and we are ready to assist”.

The press conference was held on the eve of the annual India-Russia summit for which Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will travel to Moscow. Mr Kadakin said the cooperation in the energy sector will be the major guidelines of the forthcoming visit.

Trade lagging

Turning his attention to bilateral trade, the Envoy said that the two countries were lagging behind.

“For India and Russia to have (bilateral trade) at about $9.5 or $9.6-billion turnover is a shame. We have to overcome this shame though in the last five years we have doubled. The target set by the Prime Minister and President remains the same that by the year 2015 we shall reach the target of $20 billion. Of course these are peanuts when compared to China's turnover of $60 billion,” the Envoy said.

India and Russia were expected to sign six to seven agreements during the forthcoming summit in diverse areas including economic issues, military and energy cooperation.

New Delhi, Dec. 7
Business Line

Russia seeks no liability on its nuke reactors
New Delhi, Dec 7, DHNS:

Moscow wants New Delhi to keep the future Russian reactors to be built at atomic power project at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu out of the ambit of India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act.

The first two reactors already supplied to Kudankulam plant are not covered by the liability law which came into force only this November.

Russia’s JSC Atomstroyexport and India’s Nuclear Power Corporation India are keen to conclude negotiations for the third and fourth reactors for the power plant at Kudankulam.

A deal may be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow next week for the annual summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Commissioning of the first and second reactors were delayed by protests recently.

Russian envoy to India, Alexander M Kadakin, on Wednesday told journalists that Moscow would expect NPCIL and JSC Atomstroyexport to strike the deal for the third and fourth reactors on the same terms and conditions applicable to the first and second, as the cooperation between the two countries for peaceful use of nuclear energy is covered by an intergovernmental agreement inked 23 years ago.

Notwithstanding New Delhi’s isolation from the nuclear world since its first test at Pokhran in 1974, the then leader of the United Soviet Socialist Republic, Mikhail Gorbachev, had inked the agreement with the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, with Moscow agreeing to provide New Delhi two 1000 MWe VVER reactors to be installed at the proposed power plant at Kudankulam.

The project was in limbo for years due to political upheavals leading to disintegration of the USSR and objections from the United States and other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Russia’s take
Moscow argued that India had no legal regime for nuclear liability, when the intergovernmental agreement was signed by Mikhail Gorbachev and Rajiv Gandhi or when the JSC Atomstroyexport and NPCIL clinched the deal for the first two reactors.

India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill was passed by Parliament in June 2010. The government notified the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Rules 2011 in the Gazette of India on November 11 this year. Russian Ambassador to India, however, said that the rules would not be applicable to the plant in Kudankulam.

New Delhi agrees with Moscow that the deal for the first and second reactors were struck much before the liability regime came into force last month, but it is not clear if the third and fourth too could be exempt.

Kudankulam stir notwithstanding, Russia, India step up N-teamwork
Thursday, 08 December 2011
Sandhya Sharma, The Pioneer

With PM Manmohan Singh heading to Moscow for the annual summit-level talks with President Dmitry Medvedev, India is eying the nuclear deal with its biggest partner Russia, despite the stir in Tamil Nadu.

Keeping aside the controversy engulfing the Kudankulam nuclear project, Russia and India are stepping up cooperation in the nuclear sector aiming to sign contracts for reactors three and four, as first reported by The Pioneer. Russia however hopes that nuclear civil liability rules will not hamper atomic co-operation between the two countries over the implementation of the grand plan of nuclear cooperation that they share. Going on expected lines, Russia and India will sign seven to nine pacts in field of energy, trade and military.

Responding to The Pioneer, Russian envoy in India Alexander Kadakin said, “We hope that the India’s new legislation will not tamper with or come in the way of implementation of the grand plan of nuclear cooperation between India and Russia. We hope there are same rules for 3 and 4.”

“We are looking for an agreement not just for units three and four but also units five and six and seven and eight and beyond,” he confirmed.

The two 1,000 MW reactors installed at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project don’t come under India’s civil nuclear liability law as the agreement with Russia was signed in 1988 when there was no civil nuclear liability law in the country. Singh leaves for Moscow on December 15 on a three-day visit to attend the annual India-Russia Summit the next day. His visit to Russia comes in the backdrop of the ruling United Russia Party incurring major losses in elections to Parliament.

Despite the political situation in the country, Kadakin sounded positive on the relations and said, “The present political situation will not have any impact on the Indo-Russia relations. There is no power in the world that can deter our relationship,” he said.

“India is a superpower in the making and the two countries enjoy a special and privileged partnership,” he added.

New Delhi has been closely watching the results of the Parliamentary elections where Vladimir Putin’s ruling party clung to a much-reduced majority in Parliament on Monday after the results showed growing weariness with the man who has dominated Russian politics for 12 years and plans to return to presidency next year.

Won’t sell arms to Pak: Moscow
PM to visit Russia; defence, N-deals on cards
Ashok Tuteja/TNS (The Tribune)

New Delhi, December 7
Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow next week, Russia today described India as a ‘super power in the making’ and ruled out selling any military equipment to Pakistan.

The two countries are expected to sign 7-10 agreements in the fields of military, energy and trade during Manmohan Singh’s visit for the annual summit between the leaders of the two countries, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin said at a press conference here. He said talks were also on to explore the possibility of inking a pact to build Kudankulam nuclear plant’s third and fourth units during the trip.

Kadakin said the Russian Navy would ‘soon’ hand over to India the Akula-II class nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa to be rechristened INS Chakra.

To a specific question on Pakistan, he said India should not get fixated on Pakistan. “The moment you (India) do that, you become a regional power when you are a Super-Power in the making,” he said.

Kadakin said Pakistan had shown keen interest in buying MI helicopters from Russia but Moscow was bound by its commitment not to supply weapons to Pakistan.

He said despite the "internal" problems in this country on the Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu, Russia was looking forward to expanding its nuclear cooperation with India. The commissioning of the first two reactors at the plant in Tirunelveli district has been stalled due to protests by the people of the area.

The Russian envoy hoped the civil nuclear liability rules framed by India would not affect atomic cooperation between India and Russia. "We are hopeful that the rules will not come in the way of implementation of the grand plan of nuclear cooperation (between India and Russia)," he said.

The Russian Ambassador voiced regretted the low level of Indo-Russian trade for which a target of 20 billion dollars has been fixed for 2015.

The Indian PM will be the first top foreign dignitary to visit Moscow after Sunday’s polls to the Russian ‘Duma’ (Parliament).

‘Avoid Pak fixation’

India should not get fixated on Pakistan. The moment you (India) do that, you become a regional power when you are a superpower in the making.

Russia says no to N-liability clause

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 08, 2011

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit just about a week away, Moscow has taken a tough stand on the liability law India is insisting on in all nuclear power equipment purchases.

The Russian position can threaten the signing of the commercial pact for building two more reactors — Kudankulam 3 and 4 in Tamil Nadu —expected during Singh’s visit.

The Russians said that if all terms of the deal for Kudankulam reactors 1 and 2 are to remain, then the liability clause can’t be added. India, though, wants the liability clause to be tacked on.

The agreement on reactors 1 and 2, with a capacity of 1,000-MW each, were signed by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev. The construction of the reactors began in 2001 — much before the nuclear liability law came into effect in India.

Russian envoy to India Alexander Kadakin said, “Since Russia is offering the same terms of credit (as in the first deal), it would be naive (on Russia’s part) to expect some new terms or limitation.”

But Indian officials differed. “That’s an old position. The Indian position is that since the commercial pact for 3 and 4 is being signed after the passing of the liability law, the law will be applicable.”

When asked whether this would derail the signing of the pacts, Indian officials said that Delhi is at an advanced stage of negotiation. The Russian envoy also said the protest against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant was “inspired”.

Russia wants Kudankulam out of nuclear law purview

Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury | New Delhi, December 8, 2011
India Today

With a week left for PM Manmohan Singh's Moscow trip for the Indo-Russian annual summit, Russia on Wednesday made it clear that it would want the entire Kudankulam nuclear power project out of the purview of India's civil nuclear liability law.

Russian ambassador and old India hand Alexander Kadakin said the two sides were at an advanced stage of negotiations to sign contracts for the third and fourth reactors at Kudankulam during the December 15-17 summit. He also expressed hope that India's liability laws would not impede bilateral nuclear cooperation.

"Talks are in a very active stage about units III and IV at Kudankulam," Kadakin said. He, however, made it clear Russia wants the terms and conditions for the third and fourth reactors to be similar to the first two units.

TN nuclear protests ‘inspired’: Moscow envoy
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (The Telegraf)

New Delhi, Dec. 7: Moscow’s envoy to Delhi Alexander Kadakin today said the protests against the Russian-designed Kudankulam nuclear power project were “inspired” but refused to say who he suspected were behind the propaganda.

The ambassador also hinted that Moscow was less than enthused about India’s civil nuclear liability rules that propose to pin liability on both operators and suppliers of reactors if there is an accident.

The comments came days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for Moscow on December 15 for a three-day trip to attend the annual India-Russia Summit the next day with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The commissioning of the first two reactors at the Kudankulam plant, in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, has been stalled because of the protests by local residents over fears of radiation.

Kadakin declined to elaborate on who or what kind of interest groups may have “inspired” the 51-day-old protests, but said that despite the “internal” problems, Moscow looked forward to expanding nuclear co-operation with Delhi.

“We are looking for agreement not just for units three and four but also units five and six and seven and eight and beyond,” he told a media conference.

About the liability laws, Kadakin said: “We are hopeful that the rules will not come in the way of implementation of the grand plan of nuclear co-operation (between India and Russia).”

The first two reactors at Kudankulam will not be governed by the liability laws as the agreement for these had been signed over a decade back. But the Russians have questioned why the third and fourth reactors — the agreement to build these units at Kudankulam is in the works — couldn’t also have been left out of the purview of the rules, given Moscow and Delhi’s close co-operation in this sector.

The envoy allayed fears in some quarters in India about the new Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines on export of enrichment and reprocessing equipment as Delhi is not a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty.

Kadakin said India, which is not part of the NSG, would continue to enjoy the waivers it received in 2008 for nuclear commerce with the 45-member group.

The envoy said India and Russia were likely to ink up to nine agreements in defence, energy co-operation and trade during Singh’s visit to Moscow.

He said the Russia’s navy would “soon” hand over the Akula-II-class nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa, which will be rechristened INS Chakra, but didn’t specify any time frame for the delivery.

Russian navy chief Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky had recently said Indian crew were “now absolutely prepared” for operating the submarine, which will be handed over on a 10-year lease on a contract estimated to be approximately $900 million.

Kadakin stressed the need to increase bilateral trade from its current level of $10 billion. The two countries have set a target of $20 billion by 2015. He said India and Russia would continue to deepen their friendship. “India is a superpower in the making and our relations enjoy a special and privileged place,” Kadakin added.

India, Russia to sign various pacts during annual summit news

Domain-b
08 December 2011

New Delhi: India and Russia will sign up to nine agreements related to the military, energy and trade sectors in the course of prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Moscow next week. Sources confirmed that both sides are also likely to formalise an agreement to build the third and fourth nuclear reactors at Kudankulam.

Singh leaves for Moscow on 15 December on a three-day visit to attend the annual India-Russia Summit, which is scheduled for the next day.

At a press meet ahead of the prime minister's visit the Russian ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, spoke about the prospects of both countries signing seven to nine pacts.

Kadakin also said the Russian Navy will "soon" hand over to India the Akula-II class nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa, which will be rechristened as INS Chakra.

The ambassador declined to give any specific time-frame for the delivery of the nuclear attack submarine.

Russian Navy chief admiral Vladimir Vysotsky has mentioned recently that the Indian crew is "now absolutely prepared" for operating the submarine which will come on a 10-year lease. The lease contract is estimated at some $ 900 million.

Kadakin also said work on development of the ambitious co-production of fifth generation fighter aircraft was proceeding well.

"Work on the aircraft is proceeding well. There are no obstacles," he added.

Kadakin also said despite the "internal" problems on the Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu Russia is looking forward to expand its nuclear cooperation with this country. The commissioning of the first two reactors at the plant in Tirunelveli district has been stalled due to local protests.

"We are looking for agreement not just for units three and four but also units five and six and seven and eight and beyond," he added.

On the issue of India's civil nuclear liability law Kadakin said that it should not apply to the first two reactors in Kudankulam as agreements for these were signed in 1998, when the law did not exist.

"As regards to Kudankulam, the rules are not applicable as agreements were signed in 1978 by Gorbachev and another agreement was signed in 1998 when there were no liability laws, so they are not applicable to unit 1 and 2," he said.

Russian Navy chief admiral Vladimir Vysotsky mentioned recently that the Indian crew is "now absolutely prepared" to operate the submarine, which will come on a 10-year lease. The lease contract is estimated at around $900 million.


Russia upset with Indian nuclear liability law

CNN-IBN

The US is not the only country upset over India's Nuclear Liability Law. Even old friend and strategic partner Russia is concerned.

Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin has said that the law should not apply to the first two reactors in Kudankulam as the agreement was signed in 1998, when the law did not exist.

"As regards to Kudankulam, the rules are not applicable as agreements were signed in 1978 by Gorbachev and another agreement was signed in 1998 when there were no liability laws, so they are not applicable to unit 1 and 2," he said.

Kadakin further said that the law should not apply to more Russian reactors that may be added on at Kudankulam in the future.
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