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India, Russia set to ink big-ticket deals

March 12, 2010 11:17 IST
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India and Russia are expected to sign deals worth over $10 billion, covering defence and civilian nuclear sectors during the ongoing visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Several supplementary agreements relating to the Aircraft Carrier Gorshkov deal will also be signed as the two countries have resolved the price issue.

These agreements will be signed after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Putin in New Delhi on Friday evening.

Further cooperation in the high tech areas like hydrocarbons, space and production of telecom equipment are likely to be discussed.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said that the visit of Russian Prime Minister would further consolidate the strategic partnership between the two countries.

"We are aiming to take forward bilateral cooperation in strategic sectors like hydrocarbons, civil nuclear energy, space and defence. The two sides would also be holding discussions on energising trade and investment ties. Our expectation is that the visit will set the tone for the bilateral exchanges for the rest of the year," he added.

Prakash also said that both countries shared concerns about Afghanistan and would like to see normalcy and reconstruction taking place there.

"Russia and India have common concern with regard to Afghanistan, AfPak and both agree on the need for strong international cooperation against terrorism and financing of terrorism, the need for sustained international effort to effectively combat production and trafficking of narcotics in the region. Both sides would also like to see rapid economic development in Afghanistan, rapid reconstruction in Afghanistan, return to normalcy in Afghanistan and we both agreed that there has to be concerted efforts on the part of international community," he added.

Russia wants to boost trade with India to $20 billion by 2015 from the current $8 billion.

The two countries plan to set up a joint venture to produce GLONASS-enabled navigation equipment and sign a contract for construction of two reactors at Kudankulam nuclear power plant where Russia plans to commission the first reactor this year.

The last meeting between Putin and Dr Singh in Moscow in December 2009 failed to generate big deals to emulate the landmark oil-for-arms deal signed by the two countries earlier.

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