December 16th, 2011
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Manmohan holds talk with Medvedev

manmohan-and-medvedevMoscow: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is on a three-day visit to Russia met Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and held marathon talks with him at the Kremlin during which the two leaders are understood to have discussed a range of issues. However nuclear cooperation was the centre of focus.

The Russian President has expressed the significance and importance it gives to its bilateral relations with India. The meeting took place at St Catherine at Kremlin, the official residence of the Russian President.

Though the one-to-one meeting between the two was scheduled for one hour, the talks extended to nearly two hours. Asked the reason behind the long meeting, a Kremlin official said, “It is very good sign for Indo-Russia ties.”

The two leaders were to discuss nuclear liability, trade and defence ties during the meeting. “As far as India-Russia cooperation in the nuclear field is concerned, this will continue and we will fulfill our commitments,” said Manmohan Singh after reaching Moscow.

Moscow is however, discomfited not only by the anti-nuclear protests in Kudankulam but also by India’s nuclear liability law which makes equipment suppliers liable for damages in the event of an accident. Russia will fit new technologies in the Sukhois fighter jets being sold to India but delays in delivery of the Gorshkov aircraft carrier have soured relations. The last line of Talwar class frigates for the Indian Navy has also been hit by delays.

Strategic ties are also under strain as neither country wants the Taliban to return to Afghanistan but there seems no consensus on how to go about doing it. Moreover, Russia reaching out to Islamabad is also raising concerns in India.



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