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Putin begins 3-day India visit

December 01, 2004 21:16 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin will reach New Delhi on a three-day official visit during which Russia and India are expected to sign a number of accords on defence cooperation and other key areas.

 Putin, who reaches late Thursday night, will begin his official engagements the next day when External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh meets him.

Official sources said the two sides had firmed up 10 agreements that are expected to be inked after talks Putin will have with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a range of issues covering bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Putin will have meetings with President A P J Abdul Kalam, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Congress President Sonia Gandhi besides ministers for defence, petroleum and Leader of Opposition L K Advani.

After a visit to the Brahmos Joint Venture complex, he will leave for Bangalore on Saturday where he will have interaction with CII and FICCI and visit ISRO and Infosys. He will return to Moscow on Sunday.

Ahead of Putin's visit to India, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov is here holding crucial discussions on military and technical cooperation.

Russia warns India on IPR

The two countries may sign an agreement that will prevent transfer of technology for futuristic weapons systems like Brahmos supersonic cruise missile to third nations.

Brahmos, the 300 kms multi-faceted missile with capability of being launched from surface, undersea and air is a joint venture between New Delhi and Moscow.

The broader agreement is expected to cover mutual protection of intellectual property rights on joint

weapons projects.

Moscow has offered India an equity stake in the development of fifth generation fighter aircraft.

Russian Embassy sources here said Moscow was willing to continue supplying modern aircraft, ships and good quality ammunition to India.

"Nothing binds us from this," they said.

Though India has started deploying the Brahmos missile in its frontline warships, with its surface to surface and air to ground versions undergoing flight tests, the signing of the agreement, will enable the two countries to explore markets overseas for the missile.

India to test advanced version of BrahMos

The sources said that Russia wanted the Rupee-Rouble issue to be resolved in a mutually-beneficial manner and the pending Rupees worth three billion dollars re-invested on concrete projects either on Indian soil or in Russia.

Moscow is keen that India extend its support to Russia joining the WTO. A document in this regard may be signed during Putin's visit, the sources said.

Russia seeks help for WTO entry

Moscow has indicated its willingness to talk to other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for easing certain restrictions so that India, with a proven record against proliferation, could benefit from cooperation in nuclear power.

The sources said energy was another front on which India and Russia could successfully cooperate.

In Delhi, Defence minister Ivanov announced that crack paratroopers from India and Russia would conduct their first joint exercise on Indian soil next year.

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