We are committed to deepen relationship with Russia : PM

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Moscow, Nov 11 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today declared India's commitment to deepen its strategic partnership with Russia in diverse fields, including defence and energy security, as New Delhi dismissed suggestions of a ''diplomatic chill'' in its ties with Moscow.

Although an agreement for the construction of four additional light water reactors by Russia at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu is almost ruled out, the two countries will sign a series of accords tomorrow after an annual summit between the Prime Minister and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

''I look forward to continuing my discussions with President Putin to further strengthen India's relations with Russia. I will convey to him the high priority that India attaches to its partnership with Russia, and the benefits that this partnership has brought to our two peoples,'' Dr Singh said in a statement.

The Prime Minister, who is accompanied by a high-level delegation, arrived in the Russian capital to a red carpet welcome.

He was received at the Vnukovo Airport by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, Indian Ambassador to Russia Prabhat Shukla and senior Indian and Russian officials.

Tomorrow morning, the Prime Minister will lay a wreath at the tomb of ''Unknown Soldiers'' before meeting his Russian counterpart Viktor Zhukov. Thereafter, he will go into summit level talks with the Russian president, followed by delegation-level talks. The two countries will then sign a few agreements before a joint press conference by Prime Minister Singh and President Putin.

Mr Putin is also hosting a banquet in the honour of the Prime Minister and his wife Gursharan Kaur.

A meeting with Russian business leaders is slated for tomorrow evening before Dr Singh flies out of the Russian Capital.

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UNI

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