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India, Russia sign agreement on nuclear power plants

India, Russia sign agreement on nuclear power plants

NEW DELHI (AFX) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has signed an agreement in New Delhi to help build new nuclear power plants in India as part of moves to revitalise ties between the two former Cold War allies.
In the memorandum of intent, Putin promised four more nuclear reactors for the flagship Kudankulam nuclear plant which Russia is building in southern Tamil Nadu — a state that already has two Russian 1,000-megawatt reactors.

The Russians also promised to co-operate in building ‘atomic energy stations according to Russian plans at new locations in the Indian republic.’

Energy-hungry India, which is seeking new sources of fuel to sustain its booming economy, welcomed moves by Russia to help ‘in the expansion of our nuclear sector,’ Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after the signing.

‘Russia and India believe that atomic energy will furnish an indispensable source energy for future generations,’ the two nations said in a joint declaration.

The passage last year of a landmark US-Indian deal allowing New Delhi access to civilian nuclear technology after decades of isolation has unleashed an international race to supply the Indian civilian nuclear energy market.

Promises of more peaceful nuclear cooperation and military deals have been the highlights of Putin’s two-day visit (which ends tomorrow) during which Russia is seeking to counter India’s warming relations with the United States.

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