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Commissioning of Kudankulam 1st unit imminent: India to Russia

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 00:36

Moscow: India on Monday conveyed to Russia that the commissioning of the first unit of the controversial Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu was "imminent any day".

"The unit is at a sub-critical stage and the commission is imminent any day", visiting External Affairs Minister told Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin during the inter-governmental commission meeting with Russia here today.

The assurance held out by India on the commissioning of the first unit of the plant has soothed the Russian side which is upset over the delay in the commissioning due to protracted protests by anti-nuclear activists.

"The Russian side is happy about the assurance made by the External Affairs Minister", MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters after the meeting.

During the meeting, the two countries also agreed to speed up the commissioning of the second unit of Kudankulam atomic power project, more than 93 percent of whose work has already been completed.

A Joint Study Group is likely on the Customs Union, an economic alliance featuring Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, to discuss nuclear cooperation with India and how to go forward in this area.

The meeting also discussed cooperation in oil and gas sectors and "very futuristic things" like setting up of an energy pipeline from Russia to India, Akbaruddin said.

The hour-long delegationp-level IRIGC meeting was co-chaired by Khurshid and Rogozin, which was preceded by a 60-minute meeting "restricted" talks between the two leaders.

India is keen for a stake in Sakhalin-III oilfields and also for ONGC Videsh Limited for exploring and developing oilfields in hydrocarbon-rich Siberia.

Later, Khurshid headed for New Delhi, winding up his two-nation visit to Kazakhstan and Russia.


First Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 00:36
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