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India, Russia sign deal on power generating units in Tamil Nadu's nuclear power plant: Jaishankar

Jaishankar and Russian deputy PM Denis Manturov signed several agreements on nuclear power and in areas of medicines, pharmaceutical substances and medical devices during their meeting. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant is being built in Tamil Nadu with the technical assistance of Russia.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Moscow Updated on: December 27, 2023 6:14 IST
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Russia's deputy
Image Source : S JAISHANKAR/X External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Russia's deputy PM Denis Manturov in a meeting on bilateral economic cooperation.

India and Russia signed "some very important" agreements related to the construction of additional power generating units in Tamil Nadu's Kudankulam nuclear power plant, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his five-day trip to Moscow. This announcement was made after comprehensive and productive talks between Jaishankar and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov on bilateral economic cooperation.

The EAM and Manturov signed several agreements on nuclear power and in areas of medicines, pharmaceutical substances and medical devices during their bilateral meeting. "Today, in my presence and that of Deputy Prime Minister Manturov, we signed some very important agreements pertaining to the future units of the Kudankulam nuclear project," Jaishankar said while addressing the Indian diaspora.

Taking to X, the minister said that the meeting with Manturov noted significant progress in trade, finance, connectivity, energy, civil aviation and nuclear domains. "Appreciated the greater focus on exploring new opportunities. Discussed making our cooperation more balanced and sustainable in different dimensions," he added.

The Kudankulam nuclear power plant currently being built in Tamil Nadu with the technical assistance of Russia began construction in March 2002. The first power unit of the nuclear power plant began operating in February 2016 with a design capacity of 1,000 MW and is expected to start operating at full capacity in 2027, according to Russian media.

The two ministers also finalised the program of cooperation on Russian Far East and are expected to hold an early meeting of EaEU-India (Eurasian Economic Zone) FTA negotiators. Jaishankar also pledged to jointly organise connectivity events across land and maritime corridors.

Jaishankar on relations with Russia

While addressing the Indian diaspora in Moscow, the external affairs minister described Russia as a "special partner" in several areas pertaining to defence, nuclear power and space. "Collaborations are done in areas of defence, space and nuclear [energy] with countries with which you have a high degree of trust," he added.

"If one looks at our economy, influence, and impact on the world today, it is very different from 10 years ago and will be different 10 years later. We went on from the 10th largest economy a decade ago, to be the 5th largest now and will hopefully be the 3rd largest and beyond that, later," Jaishankar said at the event.

He also said that officials from both countries are trying to find different ways in which banks deal with each other while responding to a query on the payment problem between the two countries. He also asserted that doing business with Russia can educate others about good banks and safe routes.

Jaishankar will meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday to hold talks on a number of issues including transport, banking and financial chains along with security in the Indo-Pacific region, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan and the Israeli-Hamas war, according to the Russian foreign ministry.

"I'm very sure that this relationship will only grow from strength to strength. And I think even in the last few years, I see, frankly, for example, a greater Russian focus on Asia. I think that is partly one reason why our trade has grown so much in the last two years," he said.

India-Russia ties

Crediting the Indian community for strengthening cooperation and collaboration between India and Russia, the EAM said that the special and privileged strategic partnership reflects "experiences and sentiments of the last 75 years". "Their role in promoting close ties between our civil societies is invaluable. An Atmanirbhar Bharat will deepen ties with Russia in a multipolar world," he said on X.

The ties between India and Russia remained strong notwithstanding Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue. Additionally, India's import of Russian crude oil has gone up significantly despite increasing disquiet over it in many Western countries.

Moreover, it was expected that Jaishankar would discuss the expansion of BRICS amid reports Pakistan is willing to join the bloc under the presidency of Moscow. India's import of Russian crude oil has gone up significantly despite increasing disquiet over it in many Western countries. However, it was not clear whether the minister will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

(with inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | Jaishankar, Lavrov to meet in Moscow tomorrow for talks on Israel-Hamas war, Ukraine

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