India-Russia won't violate international laws on Nuclear trade

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Moscow, Nov 13 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin have expressed their firm resolve not to break any international law with regard to nuclear trade by entering into an agreement for four additional light-water reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu at this stage.

At their ''extraordinarily lengthy'' meeting at the Kremlin yesterday, Dr Singh frankly explained to President Putin the problems his government was facing in approaching the IAEA for an India specific nuclear safeguard agreement in the absence of domestic political consensus on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The Russian leader said he was fully aware of the ''internal problems'' in India on the nuclear deal and indicated that Moscow was in no hurry to arrive at an accord for four additional reactors until domestic political processes on the Indo-US nuclear deal took a concerete shape in India, Indian officials privy to the talks between the two leaders disclosed.

''We will not violate any international law nor do we expect others to do so. We want the technology denial regime against India to be lifted so that we can cooperate with Russia, France and other countries in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy,'' the officials emphasised.

They dismissed suggestions that there were bilateral problems between India and Russia, which prevented the two countries from signing the accord on four reactors, in addition to the two already being built by the Russians under a 1988 accord.

The officials reemphasised that the relationsip between India and Russia was time-tested and this was very much evident yesterday when the two leaders met for more than two hours at a restricted meeting.

''This was an unprecedented meeting in both quality and content...it was a meeting of minds. The two leaders have established deep personal rapport,'' the official pointed out.

The two leaders discussed steps to take forward the strategic relationship between their two countries. They had similarity of views on almost all major international issues, including the situation in Pakistan and the threat of a war in Iran.

Both Prime Minister Singh and President Putin were dissatisfied with the level of trade between their two countries. The two-way trade between India and Russia at present was 3 billion dollars and steps must be taken on a war-footing to meet the goal of achieving 10 million dollar trade by 2010.

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