Putin in India, $10 Billion Pacts Likely to Be Inked between India, Russia
Russian premier Vladimir Putin has arrived in India for a 22-hour visit during which India and Russia are likely to ink pacts worth $10 billion and also finalise policies on the way forward on Afghanistan, said media reports.
Putin, who reached New Delhi last night, will build on relationship he revived in the post Boris Yeltsin era and eyeing space, energy and defence contracts, which have been Russia’s traditional strengths.
Nearly 15 pacts are expected to be signed between the two countries, said reports.
Making a good background for Friday’s talks, Cabinet Committee cleared the $2.35 billion fresh prices for the Admiral Gorshkov, reports said.
The defence deals to be inked include, among other things, the long-delayed renegotiated pact for the carrier, renamed INS Vikramaditya, said reports.
In addition, the two countries will ink an umbrella civil nuclear deal, said reports.
Reports said that India can buy an extra 29 more MIC-29K fighters for the Navy as the two countries also finalises the deal to jointly develop a fifth generation fighter and a transport aircraft, reports said.
Russia will also get to construct two additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam.
During the visit, Putin is expected to push for a prime ministerial nod on a controversial Russian contract with NTPC, reports said, adding that Russia wants more than the contracted price amid allegations of massive pay offs
India seeks an enhanced stake in Russia’s oil and gas fields along with collaborations in a Russian global satellite navigation system, said reports.
“Russia as the Prime Minister says is a time tested and trusted partner. It sounds like a cliche but it’s true. We shouldn’t be playing games with Russia. Both these relationships should be separate,” former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hope that trust comes handy when he discusses a possible plan B for Afghanistan
“India and Russia have common concerns on Afghanistan and AfPak. Both agree on the need for strong international co-operation against terror and the financing of terrorism,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vishnu Prakash was quoted as saying.
Russia remains wary of its backyard turning more radical on the back of drug money, but so far it has been muted in its opposition to the US-led policy to reconcile and re-engage with the Taliban.
(Based on internet reports)