India’s discussions on units five and six of the Kudankulam nuclear plant is at the stage of “internal approval”, the External Affairs Ministry said today, less than a fortnight ahead of the annual Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay also termed “completely baseless and mischievous” a media report “falsely” linking the ongoing discussions with Russia on Kudankulam to India’s NSG membership.
“The report is completely baseless, incorrect and mischievous. Discussions have been held on Kudankulam document. The process is at the stage of internal approval,” he said. The General Framework Agreement (GFA) for units 5 and 6 of the plant in Tamil Nadu has already been cleared by an inter-ministerial group and is awaiting a nod from the Prime Minister’s Office, government sources had said.
According to an October 2015 joint statement after a meeting between Modi and Putin, the two sides “reaffirmed” their intention to conclude the GFA and the Credit Protocol for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) units 5 and 6 by the end of 2016.
However, due to differences over credit protocol among other reasons, the pact is still pending, sources said. In August 2016, Modi and Putin jointly dedicated the Unit 2 of the plant to “India-Russia Friendship and Cooperation” and witnessed the laying of the foundation concrete for the Kudankulam units 3 and 4 through video-link.