PM leaves tomorrow on a visit to Russia, China
New Delhi: Civil nuclear liability issues posing hurdles in clinching a deal with Russia on acquiring two new reactors for Kudankulam project and sticky points over an agreement with China to avoid army face offs on the border await resolution as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh embarks on a five-day visit to the two countries on Sunday.
Hopeful of reaching according on both the issues, officials are said to be working overtime to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution so that the deals can be signed during the visit to Moscow and Beijing.
Singh, who will be paying an official visit to Moscow, will be participating in the 14th annual summit with Russian President Vladmir Putin on Monday, his fifth in Moscow.
Official sources said in a bid to assuage Russian concerns on the civil liability clause in the nuclear law in India New Delhi has made proposals outlining the parameters for taking insurance on the possible damage that could arise in case of an accident.
They include the quantum of liability on suppliers of equipment both foreign and Indian, which has been made clear that it is not unlimited.
Russia has been opposed to application of the nuclear liability law on the reactors for the proposed III and IV units in Kudankulam power project since the original scheme was conceived under an inter-government accord.
Public sector General Insurance Corporation (GIC) has been tasked to work with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to work on quantifying the damage and the liability on suppliers of equipment, including the reactors.
Sources are confident that the accord on Unit III and IV will be clinched during Singh`s visit to Moscow.
The visit to Russia also signifies the deep strategic partnership between the two countries over the years in defence, science and technology and space.
India is also interested in expanding cooperation in the hydro carbons with ONGC`s overseas arm OVL seeking new opportunities in exploration of gas and oil in Russia`s far east and Arctic zonel.
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