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Russia,India ink raft of deals including Crimea trade push
December 11, 2014, 9:53 am


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi on 11 December 2014 [PPIO]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin in New Delhi on 11 December 2014 [PPIO]
























Even as the European Union is considering widening its ban on investment in Crimea, Russia and India on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to boost trade between India and the Crimean region during President Putin’s New Delhi visit.

The agreement was signed by Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and Gul Kripalani, chairman of the Indian-Crimean Partnership. The Kremlin has received support from both New Delhi and Beijing in the face of western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crime.

The Crimea agreement with New Delhi will boost joint projects in “engineering, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and tourism to information technology, microelectronics and industrial parks”, said a Russian government press release.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday in the Indian capital where the two sides inked crucial energy deals, including Rosneft’s 10-year oil delivery contract of 10 million tons per year with India.

“We have a strategic partnership that is incomparable. Russia our foremost defence partner since decades,” said Modi at a joint press conference following talks with Putin.

Russia and India have agreed on the construction of at least 12 new nuclear energy blocks within the next 20 years. This includes two new blocks for the existing Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu in 2016.

India has agreed to expeditiously identify a second site, in addition to the existing unit at Kudankulam in southern India for Russian-designed nuclear power units in India, said Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

“At Summit India-Russia agree on Strategic Vision to strengthen cooperation in peaceful uses of Atomic Energy,” tweeted Akbaruddin.

The Indian Prime Minister also said in Thursday press conference that “Energy security is critical, for India’s economic development and creating jobs. Russia is also a key partner in this area.”

“We cooperate in research reactors, a new generation of reactors, including the use of thorium as a fuel; we consider the possibility of cooperation in uranium extraction, its enrichment. Today we can say that the cooperation between Russia and India has an absolutely strategic character,” said Russia’s state nuclear corporation, Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund and India’s infrastructure investor IDFC also announced that the two entities will invest $1 billion in hydroelectric projects in India.

The vast array of deals signed including partnership with Crimea comes weeks ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India. Obama has insisted on US attempts to “isolate” Putin internationally and expose Russia to a spiralling trade war with the west.



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