Manmohan Singh leaves for Russia, China; key agreements to be settled

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New Delhi, Oct 20: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday left for China and Russia on a five-day visit. Singh will undertake two important issues with both countries, including a deal with Moscow on getting two new reactors for Kudankulam project and reaching an agreement with Beijing to permanently settle the frequent border face-offs.

While the civil nuclear liability has posed problems to the deal with the Russians, the agreement with China also needs to overcome certain challenges. On Monday, Singh will participate in the 14th annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Indian officials are putting extra efforts to reach a mutually acceptable negotiation with both countries so that the deals could be finalised during Singh's twin visits.

Sources in New Delhi said India has proposed outlining the parameteres for insurance on the possible damage that could be caused by an accident. This has been done to allay Russia's fears on the civil liability clause in the nuclear law in India.

Officials are trying to ensure that the deals are inked during Singh's visits

Moscow opposed the application of nuclear liability law on the reactors for the proposed units in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu since the actual scheme was made under an inter-government settlement. The public sector General Insurance Corporation (GIC) has been asked to work with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to qualify the damage and assess the liability on the equipment suppliers, including the reactors.

New Delhi has also shown interest in extending cooperation in the hydrocarbons with OVL, the overseas arm of the ONGC, looking for new opportunities in exploring gas and oil in far-east Russia.

OneIndia News

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