Moscow: After protracted re-negotiations,
India and Russia have ended the stalemate over contentious
price and technical issues for the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft
carrier which had become an irritant in bilateral ties.
"There has been excellent progress in negotiations on
technical issues and there has been a successful conclusion,"
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters at the end of
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s talks with Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the
second day of his three-day official visit to Moscow.
Details of the final price fixed for the sale of the
aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya were not disclosed.
Indian officials said a price satisfactory to both sides
has been worked out for the refitting and delivery of Admiral
Indian and Russian defence officials have been
negotiating the price for the purchase of the refurbished USD
2.2-billion aircraft carrier for several years.
Moscow was asking for USD 2.9 billion for the aircraft
carrier, nearly thrice the price that was originally agreed
between the two sides in 2004. But New Delhi wanted the price
to be scaled back to USD 2.1 billion.
Delays in refitting the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier
and huge cost overruns have been a particular concern with
India. It had also put at unease the otherwise time-tested
relationship between the former cold war allies.