Russia confirms delivery of Admiral Gorshkov in 2012

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Moscow, July 2 (ANI): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today said that modernisation of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier should be completed as soon as possible so that it can be delivered to India in 2012, as the project had become the sole irritant in Russian-Indian relations.

"This is the first, very difficult experience. The ship must be finished. Otherwise there will be serious consequences," Medvedev said.

India and Russia have yet to agree on the cost of overhauling the Admiral Gorshkov for the Indian Navy to be renamed Vikramaditya, RIA Novosti reports.

Under the original 1.5 billion dollars 2004 contract between Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the Indian Navy, which includes delivery of MiG-29K fighters, the work on the aircraft carrier was to have been completed in 2008.

However, Russia later claimed it had underestimated the scale and the cost of the modernization, and asked for an additional 1.4 billion dollars, which New Delhi said was "exorbitant."

Indian officials familiar with negotiations said the eventual figure would be closer to the 2.2 billion dollars estimate.

The aircraft carrier is currently docked at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia, with over 2,000 workers employed on the project. (ANI)

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