Russia, India to sign Letters of Exchange in November

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Moscow, Oct 12 (UNI) The Letters of Exchange on utilising the rupee debt for investments in India, will be signed during the meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said today.

Speaking at a joint press conference at the end of the 13th session of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, the minister said,''The two countries have already signed an agreement to set up a joint venture in the construction of titanium plant in India with the use of Russian investment which proceeds from the rupee debt.'' India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee cochaired the session with Mr Zhukov.

''The general Letters of Exchange have been finalised on the overall possibility of utilisation of the rupee debt for investment in India,'' Mr Zhukov said.

The two sides were also discussing an ''interesting project'' involving the establishment of a joint venture to develop a multipurpose transport aircraft, he said, adding that ''This is something being currently discussed''.

The Rs 46.5 million rupee debt has so far not been utilised for investments in India.

Denying that there was difference between the two sides on the exact amount and value of the rupee debt, he said, ''As far as the exact amount and value of the rupee debt is concerned there is no difference on this account. The figure has been calculated precisely and has been confirmed by banks on both sides.'' On construction of more nuclear reactors at Kudankulam, the Russian minister said his country was successfully finalising the construction.

Referring to the Protocol of Intent on building four additional reactors at Kudankulam which was signed in January during Mr Putin's visit to India, he said, ''We hope our cooperation will expand. We are discussing about the construction of additional four units at Kudankulam.'' He also pointed out that Russian companies were involved in the construction of other types of power plants, including thermal power plants, adding there was a ''great prospect in power equipment supplies to India''.

Mr Mukherjee, on his part, said the two delegations at the session had held ''substantial discussions'' in all major areas of bilateral trade and economic relations, with the purpose of boosting a ''quantum increase in trade and economic cooperation''.

Emphasising the energy cooperation between the two countries, he said, ''Since Russia is one of the largest exporters of energy, chemicals and fertilisers and India a large importer of these products, there is a natural complementarity in cooperation in these areas.'' At the session, two sides decided to set up a new joint working group on science and technology and redesignate the existing working group on technologies as the working group on information and communication technologies.

The two sides also signed a protocol at the results of the session in Moscow. The next IRIGC session will be held in New Delhi.


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