India-Russia accord on additional nuclear reactors unlikely tomorrow

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Moscow, Nov 11 (UNI) With the Indo-US nuclear deal stuck in domestic political quagmire, Russia appears unwilling to sign an agreement with India for contructing four more light-water reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu at this stage.

Officials accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his two-day visit to Moscow indicated that an agreement for light-water reactors might not be part of the bilateral accords to be signed by the two countries tomorrow.

Russia obviously is not willing to do anything that would violate the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) with regard to nuclear trade.

National Security Adviser M K Narayanan noted that Russia had constructed two water reactors at Kudankulam under an agreement between the two sides, signed in 1989. He recalled that the two sides had signed a letter of intent for four additional light-water reactors during President Vladimir Putin's visit to New Delhi in January.

''We look forward to extending that cooperation. This is a continuous process. We have worked with Russia in the past and we look forward to working with them in future and expanding our relationship,'' he added.

Mr Narayanan acknowledged that the proposal for four more reactors did not form part of the original accord between the two countries.''It (agreement) does not provide for more than two reactors. It is not as though it is a general agreement which you could interpret as grandfathering these four additional reactors,'' he added.


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