Russia wanted to sign N deal with India during Singh's visit

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (UNI) Russia was ready to sign a nuclear agreement with India during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to that country last year but India preferred not to enter into any such pact at that time, sources said here today.

The agreement was on four extra stages for the Kudunkulum project in Tamil Nadu.

The sources said Russia was ready with the details of the agreement. However, India was not ready because the French government wanted a similar pact with India but were insisting that New Delhi should first clear its position at the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the International Atomic Energy agency (IAEA).

Signing the agreement with Russia would have meant a diplomatic embarassment for the French which India did not want, they said.

Asked whether Moscow was offended at New Delhi's decision, the sources said they understood India's predicament and there was no question of offence at all.

''We did understand India's position...,'' the sources said.

Nevertheless Russia was ready with the agreement and would sign it at any time India wanted, the sources said adding that no changes would be made by the Russian side to the text of the agreement.

''It will be signed at a suitable time, when India is ready.

Nothing will change. It is a matter of time,'' the sources added.

UNI RB BDP RN1858

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