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Indo-Russian nuclear deal likely in Oct

September 17, 2008 11:57 IST

In a move that is likely to put further pressure on the US Congress, India is putting finishing touches on a civilian nuclear agreement with Russia [Images] during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to India on October 20.

Coverage: Indo-US Nuclear Deal

This agreement was first set to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] visit to Russia in 2007. The Russian establishment, keen to leverage its historical connection with India's atomic energy programme, had offered to build four more reactors in Kudankulam for civilian nuclear energy.

While accepting that offer, Dr Singh had told the Russian government that India would prefer to wait until the paperwork, especially the Nuclear Suppliers' Group clearance, was completed.

Now, ironically, although the US has pulled out of its nuclear deal with Russia, citing Russian intervention in Georgia as the reason, India is going ahead with the Russian deal.

The Russian civil nuclear industry is enthusiastic about the opening of India's nuclear business and hopes to get the first-mover advantage after the NSG approved rule change India's favour.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to sign a nuclear deal with France [Images] in the last week of this month.

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