NEW DELHI: Declaring that India’s relationship with Russia was “incomparable”, Prime Minister Modi said that Moscow will remain its “most important defence partner”, with both sides agreeing to build at least 12 nuclear units and jointly explore the Arctic shelf for oil.
Nuclear cooperation seemed to be a key component of the discussions, held at Hyderabad House in New Delhi during Putin’s visit that lasted less than 24 hours. “The Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy contains plans to build over 20 nuclear power units in India, as well as cooperation in building Russia-designed nuclear power stations in third countries, in the joint extraction of natural uranium, production of nuclear fuel and waste elimination,” said Putin.
While Putin spoke of plans for 20 nuclear units and Modi mentioned 10 units in his statement, the vision document actually mentions “not less than 12” over a period of 20 years based on the 2008 agreement.
About Koodankulam, Modi said, “The first unit has already been commissioned and are planning to launch the construction of the second unit.” Modi noted that the first unit of Koodankulam plant has added 20 per cent to the existing capacity for nuclear power.