India and Russia sign civil nuclear agreement

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Moscow, Dec.7 (ANI): In a historic event, India and Russia on Monday signed a broad-based agreement in civil nuclear field, which is meant to ensure transfer of technology and an uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies to its nuclear reactors.

Besides, both the countries inked three pacts in the Defence sector. The agreements were signed following talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin where they discussed a wide range of issues including terrorism emanating from Afghanistan.

The announcement was made during a joint press conference in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh informed about the agreement saying: "Today, we have signed an agreement that broadens the reach of our cooperation beyond supplies of nuclear reactors to areas of research and development and a whole range of areas in nuclear energy.

he PM said the agreement would deepen and strengthen the already existing nuclear cooperation between India and Russia under which four new nuclear reactors would be set up by Russia in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and a site for the fifth one has been identified in West Bengal.

Dr. Singh said the agreement on nuclear cooperation was a major step forward and that both the leaders were satisfied over the agreement on nuclear power cooperation.

Both the countries also signed agreements on extending their long term military cooperation programme for another 10 years till 2020 on the after sales and product support of the Russian origin military hardware apart from a protocol for the joint development and production of multi-role transport aircraft for the armed forces.

During their meet, Dr. Singh and Medvedev also discussed regional issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, in which both the countries have a stake and favoured a "stable and prosperous" Afghanistan.

India and Russia would also intensify cooperation to meet the grave challenges of terrorism and religious extremism.

Dr. Singh said his second visit to Russia in last six months this reflected the close ties between the two countries while added that Russia is a major power and a factor of peace and stability in the international system.

Talking about India-Russia relationship, Dr. Singh said that India accords highest priority in its relations with Russia and "this relationship stands on a firm footing and is not influenced by relations with any other country."

He described Indo-Russian relationship as "multi- dimensional and multi-faceted" and informed that the two countries have decided to raise the level of bilateral trade from the present level to 30 billion dollars by 2015. (ANI)

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