Russian Prez lauds all-weather partnership with India

Last Updated: Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 18:27

Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
on Friday lauded the all-weather strategic partnership with India
and said the bilateral ties are not affected by the change in
political seasons as he hosted his counterpart Pratibha Patil
at the Kremlin here.

"Your visit demonstrates special strategic relations of
partnership between Russia and India, which are not prone to
conjuncture and change of political seasons," Medvedev said at
the start of the delegation-level talks with Patil, who is
here on a four-day state visit.

Medvedev also noted the importance of the Indo-Russian
dialogue within the BRIC and other international formats.

He expressed satisfaction at the pace the bilateral trade
and economic cooperation have started to develop in recent
years.

According to Russia`s Economic Development Ministry, the
Indo-Russian trade could grow by 20 per cent in 2009 to over 8
billion dollars, increasing the chances of achieving the USD
10 billion target by 2010, set by the top political leadership
of the two countries, in spite of the global economic
downturn.

Patil arrived here yesterday on her maiden state visit of
Russia, during which she is also scheduled to hold parleys
with Russian strongman, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, on a
whole range of bilateral issues, including defence, space and
nuclear energy cooperation.

Additional accord on Gorshkov by mid-Oct

Russia and India will sign an
additional agreement in October over the much-delayed
upgradation and delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov,
a senior Russian official said today.

"The negotiations are still on and we hope to ink the
additional agreement by mid-October," Chief of the Russian
Technologies Corporation Sergei Chemezev told reporters in the
Kremlin as President Pratibha Patil began her high-level talks
with the Russian leadership.

Defence cooperation was one of the key issues of Patil`s
parleys with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today.

In addition to the original USD 616 million cost of
upgradation, the Severodvinsk-based Sevmash shipyard is
demanding additionally up to USD 2 billion for the refit of
the 45000 tonner Kiev class aircraft carrier to be inducted as
INS Vikramaditya.

Originally, Russian shipyard was to deliver it in August
2008, however, due to extra work and dispute over the refit
cost its delivery has been deferred till 2012.

In July visiting the Sevmash shipyard President Medvedev
had described the Gorshkov issues as the `sole irritant` in
bilateral relations with India and ordered to complete
negotiations and deliver the ship within the agreed deadline.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 18:27

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