India-Russia discussing Kundankulam Nuclear Plant units: Indian Envoy

By Ashoke Raj
Moscow [Russia], May31 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran on Tuesday said that cooperation in the field of nuclear power is one of the success stories of Russia and India relationship, and will be thoroughly discussed in the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin.
"Russia is the only foreign partner of India in the establishment of nuclear energy. We have had discussions with many countries on the grounds, but Russia has emerged as the only country with which we have successful collaborated in the atomic power sector which is the flagship of the Indo-Russian economic cooperation." Saran said.
"In the last one year, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant units 1 and 2 have become operational and construction has begun for unit 3 and unit 4 and we are under discussion for starting work on units 5 and 6," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin at St. Petersburg to further Indo-Russia relations.
India and Russia will have discussions over finalization of the General Framework Agreement for units 5 and 6 of the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu.
Emphasizing on the most significant aspect of Russia constructing nuclear plants in India , Saran said ," Russia has agreed to steadily increase the degree of localization in the establishment of the nuclear plants in India, which means that the Russian side is willing to make more and more of the Indian manufactured components and equipments into the production. So there is an element of sharing of technology. So this is an important area of cooperation."
In 2014, Russia and India signed the 'strategic vision for strengthening cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy. It envisages the serial construction of 12 Russian-designed units in India in the coming future.
PM Modi will be on a three-day visit to St Petersburg in Russia beginning May 31 to June 02. On the first day, Prime Minister will be having his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin where both the leaders will discuss ways to enhance ties in trade, defence, nuclear sector and fight against terrorism.
Under the 'Strategic Partnership' PM Modi will invite foreign firms to share technology with local players relating to defence equipment to be manufactured in India.
Joint Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry's Eurasia division G V Srinivas said "the work is in progress" and added "I do not want to steal the thunder of the meeting."(ANI)

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