Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Russia offers major support to boost energy security and major infrastructure projects to India
NEW DELHI: Even as India raised the issue of sale of Mi-35 helicopters to Pakistan by Russia, Moscow on Wednesday offered Delhi major support to boost energy security and major infrastructure projects to boost India's economy.

Visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin -the first high level contact between Moscow and Narendra Modi government -held wide ranging discussions with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and offered support to meet India's growing energy needs and major infrastructure projects besides cooperation in the diamond sector, nuclear energy and defence needs.

The two sides laid a roadmap for cooperation for high level meetings later this year including Modis first meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Brazil in July and his visit to India later this year. Hydro-carbon was identified as a new area of growing partnership as resource rich Russia has lot to offer to India, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said. He indicated that India also pitched for Russian investments in the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

The two sides will hold a technical level meeting later this month to firm up hydrocarbon cooperation including pipelines to India and oil fields. The two sides also decided to set up a Joint Working Group for feasibility study on FTA between India and customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

India also offered Russia an alternative site for second nuclear power plant in lieu of Haripur in West Bengal. There are trouble against proposed plant in Haripur.

Russia has, in-principle, agreed to the Indian nuclear liability law, paving the way for signing a contract for unit 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP).

Two units of KNPP have been set up by Russia in Tamil Nadu and the first unit has already been made operational.

India and Russia signed a general framework agreement on unit 3 and 4 in April this year after crossing the initial hurdles of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010.

After election results were out, Putin had congratulated Modi for BJP's "convincing victory" and hoped that both the countries will be able to achieve greater success and further bolster the relationship.

The Russian deputy prime minister will call on the Prime Minister on Thursday.

Rogozin also meet defence minister Arun Jaitley and national security adviser Ajit Doval. Rogozin later felicitated senior BJP leader and former Minister Murli Manohar Joshi.

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