NEW DELHI: Russia is ready to help build 20-24 nuclear power plant units in India, according to Moscow’s envoy Russian ambassador Alexander Kadakin, even as he revealed that a vision document on energy cooperation will be launched during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit here on Tuesday.
“Russia has agreed to help build 14-16 nuclear units. Now it seems that India’s demand is much bigger and it may go up to 20-24 units,” said Kadakin.
He said both sides had to “make concrete precise timeframe for the construction of these units”.
On the ongoing projects, he said that while Unit 1 in Koodankulam project was working, there were some technical glitches, which were being set right.
“Unit 2 is in a high degree of readiness. Some tests will start soon. I don’t agree that there are any problems with Unit 2,” he added.For Unit 3 and 4 at Koodandankulam, he said,”Some more documents” will be signed during the visit for the 15th Annual Summit. “We will start negotiations for Unit 5 and 6 soon,” he said.
He added that Moscow expected New Delhi to brief it on the new site for the Haripur Nuclear Power Plant, which had to be relocated ollowing pressure from the state government.
Kadakin said that Putin’s visit -- the first bilateral visit by the Russian President under the new Indian government -- would see the release of a vision document that will encompass all areas of energy cooperation from nuclear to hydrocarbons.
He indicated that Russia was “willing to offer wells” to India for investment in hydrocarbon sector on the lines of Sakhalin 1.
He added that there were no glitches in Russian technology in Sukhoi-30 fleet, which was cleared for flying last month after being grounded for nearly a month following a crash.
“There is a report coming from the Special Commission that talked about ejection of the seats of the two pilots. There was no glitch on the part of Russian technology. This is the conclusion of the Commission,” he told reporters.
‘No Anxiety Needed’
For the first time ever, Russia has justified in detail the recent framework agreement in defence with Pakistan, claiming better ties will help Moscow to give more leverage over Islamabad’s actions vis-à-vis India. Ahead of the visit of Putin, Russia’s ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin tried hard to put a lid on anxiety over the recent visit of defence minister to Pakistan and announcement of sale of Mi-17 helicopters.
“You must be rest assured that India is Russia’s strategic partner and closest friend. Never ever will Russia do anything to the detriment of India’s security,” Kadakin told reporters.
Last month, Sergei Shoigu made a first ever visit by a defence minister to Pakistan, during which he signed a pact in defence cooperation. “The frame work agreement which was signed with Pakistan does not envisage any immediate supply. It is just a framework agreement which we have with many countries,” Kadakin said.
At the same time, he said, that there should not be any objection to Russia improving ties with Pakistan now, especially with India also stating that it was ready for talks with Islamabad. “We can’t be more anti-Pakistan than India,” he said.
Mini-BrahMos Pact to be signed
New Delhi: In a bid to further strengthen the bilateral defence ties with Russia, the Centre is expected to sign an agreement for the joint development of smaller version of BrahMos missile. Official sources said the inking of the tripartite agreement in this regard involving the DRDO, NPOM lab of Russia and BrahMos Aerospace is likely to take place during Russian President Vladmir Putin day-long visit on Tuesday.