Putin arrives; nuke, Gorshkov pacts on table

India and Russia are to sign over a dozen agreements during Russian PM Vladimir Putin visit.

Updated: Mar 12, 2010, 10:17 AM IST

New Delhi: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived here Thursday night on a 22-hour visit during which India and Russia are to sign over a dozen agreements, including an umbrella civil nuclear pact.

Putin was accompanied by a high-powered delegation comprising senior ministers and senior officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin, Minister for Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina and Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will Friday evening holds talks with Putin, who is seen here as a close friend of India and a co-architect of India-Russia strategic partnership.

The two sides are expected to sign over a dozen pacts, including an umbrella inter-governmental civil nuclear agreement and another accord freezing the price of the refurbished aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov as well as a clutch of defence deals and a visa pact, sources said.

Setting a positive tone for Friday`s talks, India`s cabinet committee on security (CCS) cleared the $2.35 billion fresh price for the Admiral Gorshkov. The long-delayed renegotiated pact for the carrier, renamed INS Vikramaditya, will be among the defence deals worth $4 billion that are expected to be finalised during Putin`s visit.

Pacts on setting up joint pharmaceutical ventures and visa simplification are also expected to be signed during the visit.