Wily Tenders

Friday, 16 August 2013 16:13

The Ambassador of Russia to India, Aleksandr Mikhailovich Kadakin, is confident that the future of Russian-Indian relations lies in modern technologies and in joint production, not wily tenders. On the eve of India’s Independence Day, he answered the questions of "Voice of Russia".

0 Q: Aleksandr Mikhailovich, for decades your activity as a key Russian diplomat is inextricably linked with India, relations between our countries. How are they special? Please tell us briefly about their important and meaningful moments, about memorable episodes with your participation.

0A: On the eve of the Independence Day of India - and this is very memorable, a holy day for the Indians because it was on August 15, 1947 that Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the flag of a huge independent state on the Red Fort, I would like to warmly congratulate one billion and two hundred million of our friends in this beautiful, ancient and very friendly country! Among the most memorable experiences of my diplomatic work is the Declaration on strategic partnership with India, which President Putin signed in October 2000, during my first stint as Ambassador. Now this fundamental document defines the relationship between our great countries. In international diplomatic practice, this Declaration established an important precedent, it was a new form of diplomatic communication between two states - a strategic partnership, i.e., mutual confidence for decades to come. Exactly ten years later, this partnership on the basis of the Declaration of 2000 was characterized by the two sides as a particularly privileged strategic partnership between our countries. I was directly involved in these events. Particularly memorable for me remains 9 August 1971, when I came to India for the first time as a trainee. On this day, the historical Soviet-Indian Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation was signed. Our relationship describes the highest degree of openness and trust, and, indeed, mutual understanding and friendship ..

0Q: In spite of the all-round development of relations between our countries, certain difficulties have been noted in some areas in the recent past. The growth in bilateral trade as well as mutual investment by the private business is not so fast. "Rosatom", AFK "Sistema", Kamaz have encountered some difficulties in India. The situation has changed in the field of defence cooperation which, until recently, was in the lead among all areas of Russian-Indian relations. Does this reflect a trend or complexity of growth?

0A: I think the pessimistic assessment is out of place here. It is too early to bury our military-technical cooperation! Of course, for those engaged in the real work, problems do arise from time to time, but these problems are just teething troubles. All these forecasters of doom from across the three seas are trying to throw a fly in the ointment, exaggerating and inflating our one or two losses of tenders. Look, the tender - is essentially a "seller - buyer" relationship. To me, this is bad, unfashionable relation with all its supposed transparency and objectivity. I do not like tenders. We are passing on the most modern technology to India, including the military technology. I wonder on what "world-wide tender" would India have had such a wonderful aircraft carrier "Vikramaditya", which is about to sail from our northern seas towards India? Tell me, on what tender would any country in the world give India the aviation technology and all the best of what we have? Precisely in this lies the future of our relationship, and not in the tenders whose importance is incredibly inflated. And consider the joint production of the world's best cruise missiles "Brahmos" including those for underwater and above-water and ground deployment. And next year they will be put under the wings of aircraft. Tenders are tenders, but no country in the world shares with India the most secret and confidential advancements that it has in its possession. See, now they are having problems with the "Rafale" and again over the issue of technology transfer. Name me another country except Russia, which would transfer technology to India honestly! There is no such country. In this lies the fundamental difference between our military technical cooperation with India from its cooperation with some other countries.We want to see India as a strong, prosperous, powerful country, including in military terms. And for the last 50 years we've been doing whatever we can do, we are doing it now, and together we will move confidently into the future. Recently there were encouraging signs in the trade and economic sphere. The total turnover has touched 11 billion dollars. Our leaders President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have set the task to raise the turnover to $ 20 billion by 2015. Based on the current trend, this is an achievable target.

0Q: Analyzing the bilateral ties, predicting their development for the near future and their prospects, what in your estimation, are the priorities for achievable goals?

0A: First of all, it is the development of civil nuclear power. According to estimates of Indian scientists, even if India were to buy up all the oil produced in the world by 2030, it will not be enough for its progressive, stable and sustainable development. Nuclear power, whose foundations were laid by Prime Minister Nehru, is vital for India. Every sensible Indian understands that perfectly. But the "deceitful NGOs" with the support of their Western mentors oppose nuclear power just because they are working on a cue from our competitors, who understand that this is a tasty morsel.

0Fortunately, we are far ahead in the competition. The first unit is already running, and if the second is delayed, well, let it be delayed. After all, we are the pioneers.

0There is no need to hurry, to adjust to certain desired dates. Our roadmap on cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy, which has been signed, remains on the agenda, it is on the desk and we will continue to work on it despite the difficulties that arise, including those in connection with the adoption in India of a domestic legislation on civil liability for hypothetical damage. And this is what we are doing, because the Roadmap envisages series construction of nuclear energy blocks, numbering up to 16.

0 The same thing happened with the aircraft carrier "Vikramaditya". If we want to have a healthy child, we must not force a premature birth. Such a large, powerful object like an aircraft carrier, actually re-built for India, it is a new experience of cooperation between our countries. Naturally, there may be a delay.

0Q: Let us move on to another topic. It is well known that the Roerich family of artists, philosophers and oriental scholars made a significant contribution to the development of strong, diverse contacts between Russia and India, and a great importance is attached to them. They found a second home in India. And you, Aleksandr Mikhailovich, became the initiator and life trustee of the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT) founded at the behest of the last member of the family, Svetoslav Roerich. How do you see the prospects of IRMT and the possibility of their implementation?

0A: Some tensions that arose recently between the Russian and Indian members of the Board of Trustees of the IRMT - it is a transitory phenomenon. It will pass. Currently, the Roerich Center in Moscow has put forward a detailed and serious program for the restoration of the estate in the Kullu valley in the village of Naggar and the creation of a large museum there that will really become a center of global importance. This place is associated with the independence of India, which we are celebrating these days. It was here that in 1942, when the whole world was shocked by the biggest war of all time, World War II, Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi came to Kullu. They stayed in the house of Roerichs. And then - as the independence of India was just five years away - they discussed the creation of a cultural association of India and Russia. Indeed, this is a sacred place.

0Given the importance of bilateral and international significance of this complex, it is necessary to keep it not in the custody of just the local or district administration, as is currently the case, or even the state government. This should be handled by the central government of India with the inalienable participation of the state government of Himachal Pradesh. I think that with the coming to power of the National Congress and the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, the situation will return to its normal track. The main thing now is to implement that broad plan proposed by the Roerich Center in Moscow.

0 Q: For more than 70 years, the radio station "Voice of Russia" has been informing the audience in India about the events in our country, aiming to objectively and comprehensively cover the Russian-Indian relations at different stages of their development. We thank you, Aleksandr Mikhailovich, for your direct participation in developing relations with India, for participating in the festival program dedicated to the Independence Day of friendly India! We appreciate that you are the honorary president of the Voice of Russia’s "Club of listeners," in India.

0A:If you remember, I am also one of the first and a very grateful member of the Club of listeners of "Voice of Russia"

0Your radio is carrying out an indispensable work to strengthen the friendship between our peoples, for which we are very grateful to the "Voice of Russia". Now your radio is moving to new formats of communication, including digital broadcasting, broadcasting in India on FM. On the eve of the bright, joyous celebration of Independence Day of India, I want to convey to all listeners of the"Voice of Russia" and to all Indian friends my best wishes for happiness and success in your endeavors! Remember that we have always been with you, are with you, and will be with you!

Aug 15, 2013

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