No agreement in sight yet on aircraft carrier Gorschkov

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New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) No agreement seems to be in sight on the multi-million US Dollar aircraft-carrier Admiral Gorschkov during the upcoming visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India next month.

The Russian President who will be here to attend the India-Russia annual Summit meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will hold talks on several issues of bilateral, regional and international interest.

The two countries will also sign a 'framework agreement' for construction of four more nuclear power reactors at Kudankulum in Tamil Nadu with Russian assistance.

Russia is already constructing two nuclear reactors at Kudankulum.

Russia's Ambassador to India, V I Trubnikov, told newspersons here today that the deal on the aircraft carrier was purely run on ''commercial'' basis.

He did not deny that Russia had hiked the asking price to two billion US Dollars, as reported in the media.

The deal which initially was fixed at about 800 million US Dollars, was now hiked to two billion, according to reports.

Mr Trubnikov said prices of steel has increased which had resulted in price escalation.

''There has been unexpected rise in prices...It is the commercial side of the deal which is being discussed,'' he said.

Referring to media reports of ''arm-twisting'' by Russia, the Ambassador said when the deal was signed, there was ''arm-twisting'' on the other side (by India.) Asked if there would be further price escalation by Russia, he said it depended upon what India wanted installed.

He did not give a time-frame for the completion of the deal and supply of the aircraft carrier.


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