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Russia looking forward to bolster nuclear-military ties with India

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh shakes hands with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev prior to their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo

Moscow (BNS):  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Moscow wants to build ''deeper relations'' with India by expanding its support in the country’s military and nuclear arena.

The President who arrived in India on a three-day official visit on Friday, told Doordarshan in an interview that Moscow wants to transform its ties with New Delhi from a “buyer-seller” one to that of “deep relations”.

Terming India as a “special country”, the Russian President said, “Our ties in such areas as defence, security, and arms trade were based precisely upon the buyer-seller relationship. We would like to move to deeper relations.”

"We expect to come up with some new forms of cooperation with our Indian colleagues. It could be technology exchange or new joint ventures as well as other forms of cooperation that will benefit both sides," he said.

Complimenting India for getting the approval from the Nuclear Suppliers Group to do trade with member countries, Medvedev said, “Cooperation in the field of nuclear energy is a serious and mutually beneficial field for joint work. And we consider that during my visit the prospects in this field will be further discussed. In the nearest future, in the nuclear area, we will be able to launch new projects.”

The two countries are expected to sign an agreement to build four additional reactors at the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, according to a report in Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

Earlier, the agency quoting presidential aide Sergei Prikhodo, had said that the two sides could sign a number of pacts in the sphere of military-nuclear cooperation.

About military ties with India, Medvedev said the two countries could work together on developing a next-generation fighter aircraft and an improved version of BrahMos cruise missiles.

Earlier, a two-day meeting of the India-Russia High Level Monitoring Committee co-chaired by Defence secretary Vijay Singh and Mikhail Dmitriev, Director, FSMTC from the Russian side was held in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Both sides had discussed issues relating to ongoing projects such as the fifth-generation fighter aircraft PAK FA (which roughly means Prospective Frontline Aviation System), medium transport aircraft, T-90 tanks, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), Su-30 MKI upgrade, aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and MI-17 multi-role helicopters.

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