Russian Prez lauds all-weather partnership with India
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 03, 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 03, 2009, 18:27

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