Medvedev: Russia wants to consolidate strategic ties with India

Statement comes ahead of production commencement of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

Written by PTI | Moscow | Published: September 20, 2013 11:49:10 am

Observing that Russia has very “purposeful” relationship with India,Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said it would like to consolidate the bilateral strategic partnership and help India in expanding its peaceful nuclear energy programme,on Friday.

Medvedev’s remark came days ahead of the planned commencement of production of the first unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP). The Indo-Russian joint venture project in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu is expected to begin production in the next three weeks.

“Kudankulam project is doing well and we would like to increase cooepration with India in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” he said.

The Russian Premier was speaking during a media interaction with Editors attending the 15th General Assembly of Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies(OANA) here.

Noting that Russia has very “purposeful” relationship with India,he said,”we would like to advance this relationship in various fields including by having technical cooperation.”

“We have done in the past and would continue to do so,” Medvedev said,adding,”We are interested in further developing and consolidating our strategic partnership with India.”

According to an earlier plan,KNPP-I was supposed to go on stream by the end of August,but missed the target due to a technical snag. The Unit-I had achieved criticality on July 13. The second unit is expected to go on stream by June next year.

KNPP Units one and two are VVER-1000 type reactors being set up with technical cooperation from Russia. Kudankulam is a 2,000 MW project comprising the two units each of which will generate 1,000 MW power.

There is a plan to set up four more units of 1,000 MW each. Once those are ready,the Kudankulam plant will have six reactors in all.

For commissioning the third and fourth units,talks between the governments of India and Russia are in an advanced stage.

Besides Indo-Russian relations,Medvedev also spoke about the situation in Syria,Russia’s ties with Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS) and countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

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