India, Russia Ink 10 Pacts; Defence Deals of Around $4 Billion
Bangalore: India and Russia inked as many as 10 pacts, including defence deals worth around US$ 4 billion, as their leaders undertook an extensive review of bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of nuclear energy. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin held comprehensive talks on all key bilateral issues, including defence, space, trade and investment, science and technology, education, culture and tourism.
The venue of the meeting between the two leaders was shifted at the last minute from Hyderabad House to 7, Race Course Road, the official residence of the Prime Minister in view of the large-scale protests after the gangrape incident. After his talks with Putin during his brief visit of nearly 18 hours, Singh said, "We also discussed regional and global issues, on many of which there is a marked congruence in our approach.
"The development of our nuclear energy programme has been a key pillar of our strategic partnership," the Prime Minister said while noting that construction of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam NuclearPower Project was now complete, and power generation will commence shortly. He also said India looks forward to the completion of Unit 2 next year.
"Negotiations for the construction of Units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam have made good progress. We intend to continue implementing the Roadmap for cooperation in the nuclear energy sector that was signed during President Putin's visit in 2010 as then Prime Minister of Russia," Singh said.
About their discussions on regional and international issues, Singh said, "India and Russia share the objective of a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, free from extremism, terrorism and external interference. We reviewed the ongoing developments in Afghanistan, and agreed to work togetheragainst threats posed by extremist ideologies and drug trafficking".
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