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Russian PM to visit India on March 16-17

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI) Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will arrive here on March 16 on a two-day visit for discussions with Indian leaders on various aspects of bilateral relations including cooperation in trade and space and regional and international situation.

The visit is considered significant as Russia has agreed to supply nuclear fuel to the Tarapur Atomic Power Plant and has already notified the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said today.

Shortly after his arrival at 1800 hrs on March 16, the Russian Prime Minister, who will be accompanied by a high-level business delegation, will attend a meeting of champions of Indian industry.

The function will be organised by the three main business chambers--CII, ASSOCHAM and FICCI.

The next day, Mr Fradkov will have a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The meeting will be followed by delegation-level talks between the two countries.

Cooperation in space, science and technology, energy, trade and commerce will be the main focus of discussion.

Sources said the two countries will sign two agreements on jointly launching and developing satellites for the global navigation system GLONASS, giving practical shape to the agreement already signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India in December 2004.

The GLONASS, the Russian alternative to the US Global Positioning System (GPS), provides for launching of Russian navigation satellites from the Indian spaceport with the help of Indian rockets.

The Prime Minister will host a lunch for the visiting dignitary.

Later in the evening, Mr Fradkov will call on President A P J Abdul Kalam whch will be followed by a call on by Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath.

Before the delegation-level talks at the Hyderebad House, Finance Minister P Chidambaram will call on the Russian Prime Minister.

Bilateral economic cooperation will be the focus of the discussion.

Mr Fradkov leaves for Moscow the same evening.

UNI RB VD BD1923

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