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Anti-nuke body protests Putin's visit to India

December 23, 2012 20:13 IST
The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, which spearheaded the movement against the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant, has strongly objected to the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is arriving in India on Monday.   

The agitators based in Tamil Nadu have alleged that the Russian government has been interfering in India's internal affairs and causing economic loss to people.

PMANE convener S P Udayakumar said that the Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin has been interfering in the internal affairs of the country by making unwanted statements and unacceptable comments on our energy policy and development policy.

PMANE said, "The Russian government made a $1-billion deal in 2008 to upgrade the Indian Air Force's fleet of 63 MiG-29s and they should have begun delivering the planes in 2010."

"But Russia has just delivered three fighter aircrafts after a delay of three years. The IAF has lost at least 116 MiG aircraft to crashes (not including those lost in combat), with 81 of those occurring since 1990; and MiG-21 has come to be referred to as a 'flying coffin' in
the IAF."

According to the anti-nuke group, another 2004 deal with Russia to buy an aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, has suffered the same fate of repeated delays and enormous loss to India. Originally meant to be delivered in August 2008, the ship has not been delivered even in 2012. The original $947 million deal has more than doubled now to $2.9 billion all because of Russia's lackadaisical defence industry and India's corrupt military procurement practices.

The KKNPP has suffered the same fate, they allege.

The Department of Atomic Energy and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd have claimed time and again that the delay in Kudankulam is mainly due to the non-sequential delivery of equipment and parts. The KKNPP, which was supposed to be commissioned in 2005, has not been started even at the end of 2012, they added.

Udayakumar said, " Despite the Russian government's exaggerated claims about the VVER-1000 reactors, there seem to be serious problems at the KKNPP. That is why the Russian government is trying so hard to wriggle out of any liability commitment for its "best and perfect" reactors."

" Go back, Putin," said Udayakumar.
A Correspondent