Admiral Gorshkov to remain 'frozen' in Russia till 2009 : Report

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Moscow, Feb 11 (UNI) The retrofitting of the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov for the Indian Navy, may remain frozen till 2009 with its delivery being shifted from 2012 to 2013.

The deadlocked issue of the aircraft carrier over price escalation and delivery will be on the agenda of talks during the visit of Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov to India on February 11-13, leading Russian business daily Kommersant reported today.

''India is ready to provide 600 million dollars out of 1 billion dollars additional finances necessary for renovation of Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier,'' the paper said.

''However, construction works of the aircraft carrier may be frozen till 2009 and delivery date will be shifted from 2012 to 2013,'' it added.

Quoting Mr Denis Manturov, Deputy Head of Minpromenergo, the paper said the Indian side had already agreed to pay 500-600 million dollars for Admiral Gorshkov's renovation.

It said Mr Manturov already informed Mr Zubkov about all the details of the issue at the meeting last Thursday, ahead of his visit to India.

During Mr Zubkov's visit, decision in principle regarding change of agreement details can be made, and the exact amount of money will be decided at negotiations in Moscow during Indian Defence Secretary Vijay Singh's visit scheduled from February 19, the paper said.

However, according to Mr Manturov, the additional finances will be allocated not earlier than 2009. ''Accordingly, the delivery date of the aircraft carrier will be shifted from 2012 to 2013,'' a source in Sevmash shipyard clarified to the paper.

UNI XC AM MSJ RAI2110

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