New Delhi, Feb 11: Russian Prime Minister Victor A Zubkov will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day official visit that is expected to focus on enhancing existing bilateral ties, especially economic.
India and Russia are expected to sign five agreements, including one each relating to cooperation in the telecom and aviation sectors. When Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Moscow in November 2007, he pointed out to the extremely small volume of bilateral trade between the two countries. "Trade and investment relations between India and Russia have lagged far behind our excellent political understanding and our joint commitment to strategic partnership," Dr. Singh had said then.
Presently, bilateral trade is pegged at four billion dollars, which is far less than the Russia-China and Russia-European Union bilateral trade volumes, which are 35 billion dollars and 200 billion Euros respectively.
The two sides will seek to enhance the bilateral trade volume to 10 billion US dollars by 2010.
The issue of civil nuclear cooperation may also figure in the talks. India was expected to sign a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Russia during Prime Minister Singh's visit, but the pact did not materialize. The pact was expected to have a separate component for the construction of four additional nuclear power generation units in Kundankulam, Tamil Nadu.
It was not signed due to a lack of India-specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
India and Russia are working towards a possible collaboration on uranium mining in Jharkhand.
The two sides are also likely to work together on a titanium project in Gopalpur, Orissa.
Delegation talks apart, Prime Minister Zubkov will also call on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minster P Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition L K Advani.
He will call on President Pratibha Patil and Vice President Hamid Ansari.
On Tuesday, he will attend the opening ceremony of the "Year of Russia" at Purana Qila in Delhi.
Before leaving for Moscow on Wednesday from Delhi, Zubkov will pay a visit to Agra.