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Russia, India lay groundwork for nuclear pact

The pact, agreed on during a visit by former Russian president Vladimir Putin in January 2007, envisages Russia building four reactors in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) Oct 20, 2008
Russia and India were Monday laying the groundwork for the signing of a civil nuclear energy deal, following New Delhi's signing of similar pacts with Washington and Paris, officials said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was in India for talks with his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ahead of an expected visit to New Delhi in December by President Dmitry Medvedev.

An Indian foreign ministry official said the two former Cold War allies were expected to sign an atomic energy deal when Medvedev makes his first visit on December 5.

The pact, agreed on during a visit by former Russian president Vladimir Putin in January 2007, envisages Russia building four reactors in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

India is now allowed to shop for technology and nuclear reactors after the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted its ban on New Delhi in early September following hard lobbying by Washington.

India has a nuclear market estimated at 100 billion euros (142 billion dollars) over 15 years.

India and Russia are also looking at a pact allowing joint development of weapon systems, officials said.

Seventy percent of Indian military equipment is of Russian origin, but late deliveries and commercial disagreements have pushed New Delhi towards other suppliers, including the United States, France, Britain and Israel.

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Australia says timing right for new nuclear talks
Sydney (AFP) Oct 20, 2008
Australia hosted the first meeting of a new international nuclear non-proliferation body Monday, with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith saying he was hopeful of progress on disarmament.

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