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Russian President Visits India: Summing Up

24.12.2012

139_350_175.jpgMOSCOW. DECEMBER 24, 2012. PIR PRESS – "The current state of bilateral Russian-India relations cannot but arouse concern. There has been no breakthrough in the spheres of bilateral cooperation prior to the traditional annual high-level meeting. Putin pays an official visit to the country still sharing relations of friendship and partnership with Russia, but it becomes apparent that this credit earned in the Soviet era is not limitless. It's necessary to search for new dimensions of cooperation." - PIR Center Internet Project Director Andrey Baklitsky.

On December 24, 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in New Delhi for the annual Russia-India high-level meeting. On December 19, 2012, shortly before visit of Russia's leader to India, PIR Center held a seminar "Russia-India relations: continuity and changes", where leading experts of bilateral relations summarized past year of cooperation.

Evaluation was not so promising. Despite the traditionally high level of military technology cooperation, relations in this sphere are tarnished by the failure to deliver aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to India on time. Russia lost Indian tenders for the supply of aerial tankers and heavy helicopters. Cancellation of AFK Sistema Indian unit's license and following legal proceedings demonstrate that Russian business, in turn, does not fully understand rules of the game in the Indian market.

aaa.jpgThe launch of the first energy unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant could have been the main token gesture of the visit; however, Head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko, having arrived in India only announced that parties were close to signing a framework agreement on construction of third and fourth units. Concerning the first unit, it was not possible to launch it on December 24, say sources of PIR Center in Roastom. Although construction works are fully completed, first unit undergoes tests, after which a permission of Indian nuclear regulatory body to achieve minimum controllable power will be required. Physical start-up of the power plant is expected in 2013.

Summarizing the results of the seminar, PIR Center Internet Project Director Andrey Baklitsky notes, "The current state of bilateral Russian-India relations cannot but arouse concern. There has been no breakthrough in the spheres of bilateral cooperation prior to the traditional annual high-level meeting. Putin pays an official visit to the country still sharing relations of friendship and partnership with Russia, but it becomes apparent that this credit earned in the Soviet era is not limitless. It's necessary to search for new dimensions of cooperation."

During Vladimir Putin's official visit a number of protocols and memoranda of cooperation has been signed, most notably a memorandum of understanding between Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd and JSC Navigation and Information Systems (NIS-GLONASS). This reflects the understanding of pressing need to develop joint high tech projects that would complement existing nuclear and military technology cooperation. Nevertheless, it would require political will and painstaking efforts from both sides to proceed from memoranda to real projects.

PIR Center closely follows the developments of Russia-India relations. On December 22-23, 2012, PIR Center President Vladimir Orlov took part in the Sixth Russia-India Dialogue Meeting on the subject "Russia-India relations: continuity and changes."

For all question regarding comments from PIR Center experts please contact PIR Center Internet Project Director Andrey Baklitsky tel.: +7 (495) 987-19-15, e-mail: baklitsky at pircenter.org

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