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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Russia to Help India Build 4 Nuclear Reactors

Peter Fedynsky | Moscow 07 December 2009

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says Russia will help his country build four new nuclear power plants. Mr. Singh made the announcement after meetings in Moscow with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

President Dmitri Medvedev says the heads of the Russian and Indian atomic energy agencies initialed the agreement to foster nuclear cooperation between the two countries for years to come.

Mr. Medvedev notes numerous ongoing energy projects between the two countries, including many related to nuclear energy. He says the latest agreement opens prospects for future cooperation. He says Russia has experience at India's Kudankulam power station and is thinking about ways to work at another site.

Mr. Singh called the Kudankulam site a symbol of Russian-Indian cooperation in civilian nuclear power, adding that four more reactors will be built after a new site is identified in West Bengal.

"Today, we have signed an agreement, which broadens the reach of our cooperation beyond the supply of nuclear reactors to areas of research and development and a whole range of areas of nuclear energy," he said.

According to the deal, Russia will also provide India with nuclear fuel for its reactors.

President Medvedev says Russia and India want peaceful nuclear technology to remain under the strict control of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He notes that nuclear weapons are a separate issue regulated by special international agreements. He adds that Russia opposes expansion of the nuclear club.

Mr. Medvedev says it goes without saying that this also concerns the Iranian nuclear program and any other country that could possibly use nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Singh notes Russia and India share similar views in the fight against global terrorism.

"We can share intelligence, information gathering and also use our instrumentalities to pressurize countries, which give shelter and encourage terroristic activities," he said.

Details of a separate arms agreement signed by the two countries are not immediately available. Both sides are also reported resolving a disagreement over India's purchase of the Admiral Gorshkov, Russia's Soviet-era aircraft carrier, whose modernization has run into serious delays and cost overruns.

India was unwilling to meet Moscow's demand for $1.2 billion above an agreed upon price for refurbishment of the warship, which was launched in 1982. There is no word of a final figure.

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