Manmohan to engage Putin in summit-level talks

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Moscow, Nov 12: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will have summit-level talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin here today.

Issues like defence, space, trade, science and technology and energy security are likely to be discussed during the-hour long meeting, informed official sources said. Besides, a number of agreements are likely to be signed.

Earlier, briefing the media onboard Air India One, National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan said India and Russia would take up around twenty issues during the bilateral talks.

Besides an agreement on supply of multi-role transport aircraft, both sides will review the progress on the joint production of fifth generation fighter aircraft and other defence agreements which are in various stages of implementation, Narayanan said.

The last summit-level talks between Singh and Putin was held in New Delhi during Putin"s visit in January this year. Putin was also the Chief Guest at India's Republic Day celebrations. Since then, a series of high-level visits have taken place between both countries with the objective of strengthening bilateral cooperation in various areas.

Dr. Singh, who arrived here last evening, is accompanied by National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, Finance Secretary Dr. D.Subba Rao, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar and the Chief of Indian Space Research Organisation G. Madhavan Nair.
 
The visit, which comes at the invitation of Putin, is in continuation of annual summit meetings between India and Russia, that was institutionalised during Putin"s first visit as President to India in October 2000.

Bilateral cooperation in nuclear energy is expected to chart a new course during Dr. Singh's visit amid reports that both countries will sign an agreement for building of four more nuclear reactors in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

As per the existing Memorandum of Understanding, the ongoing nuclear cooperation covered the construction of two 1,000 mw nuclear reactors in Kudankulam.

There is an ongoing dialogue and an exchange of views between the two governments on various issues of mutual interest.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met his Russian counterpart on October 24 in Harbin (China) on the sidelines of India-Russia-China Trilateral Foreign Ministers Meeting and on August 1 in Manila, on the sidelines of ARF/ EAS meetings.

In January, the two sides had signed a Protocol on holding a 'Year of Russia' in India in 2008 and a 'Year of India' in Russia in 2009. The 'Year of Russia' will be inaugurated in early 2008 and the year-long programme will include exhibitions, trade fairs, seminars, a book fair, film festivals, industry interactions, fashion and food events and various cultural performances.

In 2007, India and Russia are also commemorating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries (13 April). In this regard, a Plan of Major Events adopted during Putin's visit to India in January is being implemented.

The Prime Minister is expected to return home in the early hours of Tuesday.

 

ANI
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