New Delhi: Within a month of the Prime
Minister`s visit to Moscow, the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft
carrier issue between India and Russia seems to have been
resolved as the two sides have agreed on the final price for
the warship after several years of protracted negotiations.
Talks on the issue between Defence Ministry`s Contract
Negotiation Committee (CNC) and a Russian team were concluded
recently, Defence Ministry sources said here.
The proposal will now be sent to the Finance Ministry and
after getting clearance from there, the Cabinet Committee on
Security will take a final call on the issue, they added.
The aircraft carrier is expected to join the Indian Navy
fleet in 2012 as `INS Vikramaditya`.
The two countries have been renegotiating the deal since
2007 after Moscow demanded an additional USD 1.2 billion for
the warship. Later, the demand was increased to USD 2.9
billion for refitting and refurbishing the aircraft carrier.
The deal finalised during the NDA regime in January 2004
and India had paid USD 1.5 billion for the warship and 16 MiG
29K fighter aircraft.
Of this amount, USD 948 million were paid for refitting
the 44,500 tonne vessel and the balance was for the combat
jets and Kamov anti-submarine warfare helicopters to be
deployed on the ship.
During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to Russia
earlier this month, officials had said the two countries have
ended the stalemate over the contentious price and technical
issues for aircraft carrier.