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  • Medvedev arriving tomorrow; India, Russia likely to ink a dozen pacts

    Published on December 19, 2010

    Agreements on Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft that could augment this country’s military capabilities and expanding civil nuclear cooperation are among a dozen pacts that are likely to be signed between India and Russia during President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit in New Delhi.

    Medvedev is arriving in the national capital on Monday night and is due to have talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday after which the two sides are likely to initial the agreements that will also cover space and economy.

    “A number of agreements would be signed. A number of them are still being discussed… These agreements would in areas of space, economic and defence sectors,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters in New Delhi. He however did not give details.

    Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin had said early this week that the two sides are expected to sign around 15 pacts including on the cutting edge Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and to build more nuclear reactors in India.

    The External Affairs Ministry said the two sides will also look at ways to expand cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons.

    On Tuesday, Medvedev will hold talks with Prime Minister Singh on a range of bilateral and regional matters, including situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, apart from global issues.

    “The two countries have a similar perspective on the terrorism issue… India and Russia are also the members of the G-20 and work closely for reforms in

    international financial system,” Prakash said.

    Asked if the agreement on the FGFA was going to be signed during the visit, Prakash said, “That is a long term project of advance manufacturing and it will have a number of milestones in it and we don’t know whether one or two of them will be achieved during the meeting here.”

    Under the deal for the FGFA, likely to be worth over USD 30 billion, India is planning to co-develop and build an advanced fighter aircraft which will be similar or more advanced than the American F/A-22 Raptor. The stealth fighter is currently being developed in Russia and the prototype flew for the first time earlier this year.

    Asked to comment on the issues raised by the Russians on the issue of liability clause in the nuclear deal, the spokesperson said the two sides had signed a framework agreement for nuclear cooperation during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit in March this year.

    “We see the current conversation for Kudankulam 3 and 4 (in Tamil Nadu)and as part of the process. This is purely a technical discussion between both sides and includes whole range of things including cost and liability and we hope that we will reach a resolution to all these issues,” he said.

    On Wednesday, the Russian President will go to Agra and also to Mumbai where he will visit IIT, Powai and the Film City to have a feel of the Bollywood industry.