India Intelligence Report
 

India-Russia Sign 3 Deals, Keep Nuke Deal Quiet

 

India and Russia signed three important deals that included energy, space, and economic co-operation but were carefully not highlighting the deal for Russia to supply “limited quantity” of uranium for Tharapur.

India has repeatedly said that energy is a key policy imperative for India and nuclear energy will greatly improve India’s energy mix reducing the overt dependence on oil. Russia has also made energy the focus G-8 meeting in St. Petersburg in July. Russia has invited India to participate in the broader discussions surrounding the G-8 meeting.

According to some reports, India has invited Russia to participate in the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline project. Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov sidestepped pointed questions saying, “ways and means can be explored” for co-operation. Russia has huge experience in building large pipelines through difficult terrain. Many see the inclusion of Russia and China as means to stifle protests in the US and also get continued Iran’s engagement on the project. Ever since India’s vote against Iran’s nuclear program, Iran has been blowing hot and cold on this project.

 

India and Russia also vowed to raise bilateral trade from USD 2 billion to USD 10 billion by 2010. Fradkov said “a decline in traditional items of Indian export to Russia like tea, tobacco, and readymade garments require attention if we are to leapfrog in bridging the deficiencies in out trade.” Addressing an amalgamation of trade grouping, he suggested that the countries could also focus on healthcare, financial services, IT, and diamonds to achieve this target.

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