India is looking to expand its nuclear power program by signing deals with Russia later this month. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is set to visit Moscow on December 24-25. Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr. Jitendra Singh told the lower house of Indian parliament on Wednesday that nuclear cooperation with Russia would be prominent on Modi’s agenda when he visits Moscow.
Russia, India vow to cooperate in peaceful use of atom
Earlier this week, Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin was in New Delhi to prepare and finalize agreements that will be signed by Modi and Vladimir Putin later this month. Rogozin said the two countries were determined to cooperate in the peaceful use of nuclear power. Earlier this year, Moscow offered to build 20 nuclear power plants, up from the previous agreement of 12, in India. It has also sought India’s help in building nuclear power plants in other countries.
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Modi has pledged to generate 175GW of electricity from clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and nuclear power by 2022. In April this year, he inked a deal with Canada to procure uranium for the country’s growing nuclear program. India has also signed a nuclear procurement agreement with Kazakhstan and nuclear cooperation deals with Australia and the United Kingdom. During his visit to the US, Modi concluded a deal for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Gujarat.
$15 billion of defense deals on agenda
Among other things, Modi is expected to sign several defense deals totaling $15 billion with Putin during his trip. Last month, Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar visited Russia to set the ground for various deals. Moscow has reportedly agreed to sell the highly advanced S-400 Triumf air defense systems to New Delhi, and the final deal will be signed later this month.
Russia and India will also be co-producing Kamov Ka-226 helicopters in India.Besides, Russian defense contractor Sukhoi is also in talks with Indian conglomerate Tata Group to set up a joint venture in India. Meanwhile, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has invited Indian corporations to invest in Russia.