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India, Russia reach agreement on Gorskhkov, to ink nuclear pact tomorrow

India and Russia have reached a broad agreement to break the logjam over the protracted price renegotiation over Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier and the two sides are expected to sign a landmark civil nuclear pact during summit talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Dmitry Medvedev tomorrow.

Seeking to resolve the Gorshkov price issue, an irritant in bilateral ties, the two countries have worked out a general agreement, sources said. A pact in this regard, however, is unlikely to be signed during Singh’s visit here.

The Prime Minister arrived here on a three-day visit, his sixth trip to Russia since 2004, that will also see the inking of three agreements in the field of defence, including one for ending ad-hocism in servicing Russian military equipment.

As a special gesture, the Russian President will host a private dinner for Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur at his countryside residence in Barvikha outside Moscow.

The path-breaking civil nuclear pact is significant as it will ensure uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies from Russia in the event of termination of bilateral ties in this field for any reason, the sources said.

The agreement is considered by India as a “major improvement” over the 123 pact with the US which provides for not just termination of ongoing cooperation but also for the return to the country of already supplied components and fuel in the event of the accord being scrapped.

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