New Delhi: India and Russia will look at increasing partnership in civil nuclear sphere besides talks on new conventional submarines and defence logistics with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Valdimir Putin meeting for summit talks. Modi, who arrived in Vladivostok Wednesday, is the chief guest at the 5th Eastern Economic Forum to be held from September 4-6.
The PM and Putin are also expected to work out alternate maritime route for oil trade.
While several pacts are expected to be signed during the visit, one of the key issues that both countries are eyeing would be in the civil nuclear sphere and energy, which include both oil and gas.
Landed in Vladivostok, capital of the Russian Far East and the crossroads of a dynamic region. Looking forward to joining various programmes in this short but important visit. pic.twitter.com/cLa0hh5iby
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 3, 2019
Collaborative model in civil nuclear sphere
Sources told ThePrint that both countries are looking at the collaborative model in the civil nuclear sphere in Bangladesh to see how it can be worked out for other countries too.
In early 2018, India, Russia and Bangladesh entered into the first of its kind tripartite agreement for civil nuclear cooperation.
Under the pact, Nuclear Power Cooperation of India Limited (NPCIL) will help in building a Russia nuclear power plant in Bangladesh besides capacity building and training of Bangladeshi nuclear scientists.
Sources said both countries will be looking at exploring more such opportunities.
They added that another key focus would be to find alternative maritime route for oil from Russia as ongoing tension between US and Iran is impacting movement of oil cargo in the Strait of Hormuz.
India is looking at an alternative maritime route via Vladivostok port in Russia’s far eastern region, through the South China Sea and Malacca.
Scope for Make in India
On the defence side, the discussion will largely focus on the Russia’s offer of new conventional submarines to India, pact for production of spare parts for existing Russia equipment under Make in India initiative and the Kamov helicopters deal that has been in works for long.
Incidentally, PM Modi visited the Zvezda shipyard in Russia, the country’s latest state-of-the-art shipyard.
Deeply touched by President Putin’s gracious gesture to accompany me to Zvezda shipyard, which is poised to make a huge contribution to development of Arctic shipping. pic.twitter.com/vyUENhl0QL
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 4, 2019
Russia will be pushing for a government to government pact for the mega Project 75 (India) contract worth about Rs 80,000 crore for six conventional submarines with Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP).
Russia has offered to jointly design and build the next generation of submarines in India. Russia wants to use its new Lada class submarines (its export version is called Amur), being built by the Admiralty Shipyard, as the prototype for the design and construction of the new submarines.
India and Russia will also be looking at finlaising a pact on spare parts for defence equipment that will also pave the way for transfer of technology and joint manufacture of products under the Make in India initiative.
The sources said both countries are also working out a defence logistics pact just like New Delhi has with Washington.
This will allow both the Navy to get access to mutual ports and exclusive economic zones to refuel and pick up supplies.
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