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20 pacts signed: Russia to build 12 nuke reactors in India by 2035

20 pacts signed: Russia to build 12 nuke reactors in India by 2035

NEW YORK: Russia is going to build at least 12 nuclear reactors in India by 2035 and agreed to manufacture advanced helicopters as both countries today signed 20 pacts in oil, gas, defence, investment and other key sectors to futher ramp up their strategic cooperation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in their annual summit, vowed to take the close ties to a new level as both sides outlined a new vision for nuclear energy cooperation.

Calling Russia a “pillar of strength” for India, Modi, in a joint media interaction with Putin, said the strategic partner will remain New Delhi’s “most important defence partner” though options have increased.

“President Putin and I discussed a broad range of new defence projects. We also discussed how to align our defence relations to India’s own priorities, including Make in India.

“I am pleased that Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters. It includes the possibility of exports from India. It can be used for both military and civilian use. We will follow up on this quickly,” Modi said after around three-and-half-hour long meeting with Putin.

Referring to cooperation in the nuclear sector, Modi said both sides have charted out an ambitious vision for nuclear energy of at least ten more reactors and noted that they will have the highest standards of safety in the world.

“It will also include manufacture of equipment and components in India. This also supports our Make in India policy,” he said.

The strategic vision document on nuclear cooperation said the two Sides have decided to fast-track the implementation of agreed cooperation projects for nuclear power plants.

“Both Sides will strive to complete the construction and commissioning of not less than 12 units in the next two decades, in accordance with the Agreement of 2008.

The 20 agreements signed between the two countries provided for cooperation in a spectrum of areas including nuclear energy, oil and gas, health, investment, mining, media and wind power.

Terming the talks as “substantive”, Putin said Russia will support “joint high technology” projects and will facilitate the establishment of an Indian operator of mobile communications besides offering India its civil aviation aircraft.