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India committed to boosting ties with Russia

Russian arms exports to total $7 bln in 2007 - official
DUBAI, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian arms exports will total about $7 billion in 2007, a Russian official said on Sunday. Mikhail Petukhov, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, who leads the Russian delegation at the Dubai Air Show 2007, said Russian arms exports had been growing steadily in the past few years. "The existing portfolio of orders and the growth dynamics give us the hope to expect arms exports at the level of around $7 billion in 2007," Petukhov said.
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) Nov 11, 2007
Indian Premier Manmohan Singh vowed to push for closer ties with Moscow as he left Sunday for a two-day visit to Russia to discuss trade and arms deals with President Vladimir Putin.

"I will convey to him (Putin) the high priority that India attaches to its partnership with Russia and the benefits that this partnership has brought to our two peoples," Singh said in a statement before his departure.

"Our multi-faceted bilateral operations with Russia are based on long-term interests," Singh said.

Singh and Putin were expected to sign deals to build four more Russian nuclear reactors in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and to jointly produce a fighter jet.

But a news report said Sunday that the deal on atomic reactors may not be signed during Singh's visit because nuclear trade with India is still banned as it has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Indian Express newspaper cited unnamed foreign ministry officials saying the nuclear reactor deal was unlikely to be signed during Singh's trip.

New Delhi is vying for approval from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group for a contentious nuclear deal with the United States under which it can get nuclear fuel and technology, but the process has suffered a setback because of domestic opposition.

Earlier Thursday, Indian defence minister A.K. Antony, who is attending a high-level meeting in Moscow, confirmed the jet deal and said it, along with other initiatives, demonstrated "the strategic nature of Russo-Indian cooperation."

Russia accounts for 70 percent of Indian military hardware purchases, but late deliveries, especially of tanks, and commercial disagreements have forced New Delhi to turn to Western arms firms.

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Russian parliament votes freeze on CFE treaty
Moscow (AFP) Nov 7, 2007
The Russian parliament on Wednesday voted unanimously to suspend the country's compliance with a key 1990 treaty limiting conventional force deployments in Europe.

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