India may count on NSG to lift restrictions: Kiriyenko

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Moscow, Sep 19 (UNI) India may count on the lifting of restrictions on cooperation by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency head Sergei Kiriyenko said.

Mr Kiriyenko was commenting after his talks with Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar in Vienna, on the sidelines of the 51st session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference.

Russia welcomes ''the division of India's nuclear programme into military and civilian and plans to put the civilian sites under IAEA guarantees,'' Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying.

''Bearing in mind these circumstances and the impeccable non-proliferation repute of India, we think that the NSG may lift restrictions on cooperation,'' Mr Kiriyenko said.

He also said the current reform of Russia's atomic energy industry will spur the construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India.

''I think we made a mistake several years ago, as the government sold the controlling stake in the contractor company Atomstroiexport to a private business. Thus, the government lost control and the efficiency of management went down. Last year we regained control of the company and restored proper management,'' he said.

''The situation is improving, although we are still lagging behind in certain things,'' he pointed out.

UNI

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