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News // Politics

Putin's Indian visit will focus on arms and energy contracts

11 March 2010 , 10:48BBC News1690

 

 

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is due in India for talks expected to focus on arms and energy contracts. The two sides are due to sign two deals worth over $10bn in defence and civilian nuclear reactors and Russia will refit an aircraft carrier. They will also try to boost bilateral trade, which is currently worth $8bn. The two countries traditionally have had close links since Soviet times, with India remaining a top buyer of Russian weaponry.

 

However, the relationship faces new challenges, including competition from the West and the growing economic and military might of China. Mr Putin's foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov has told reporters that Russia expects the "signing of 14-15 agreements after the talks and contracts worth over $10bn" during the prime minister's two-day visit. He said the two sides would hold talks on civilian nuclear energy, arms and production of telecom equipment. The two sides also plan to sign agreements on retrofitting a Russian aircraft carrier, supply of additional 29 fighter aircraft and a deal to jointly develop transport aircraft.

 

Russia will build a number of nuclear reactors in energy-hungry India as well as increase atomic fuel exports to it. Russia is among a number of countries seeking to expand their activities in India following its landmark nuclear deal with the US in 2005. That accord ended India's nuclear isolation after it tested an atom bomb in 1974.

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