In a major boost to their mutual bilateral strategic partnership, India, and the Russian Federation on December 26, 2023, signed some very important agreements related to the construction of the future power units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, India.
The External Affairs Minister of India, Subramaniam Jaishankar, who is on a five-day visit to Russia announced his comprehensive and productive meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manutov on the bilateral economic partnership during which they witnessed the signing off on nuclear power and in areas of medicine, pharmaceutical substances, and medical devices.
About the Nuclear Plant
The Kudankulam nuclear power plant, India’s largest, is being built in Tamil Nadu with the technical assistance of Russia. The construction began in March 2002. Since February 2016, the first power unit of the Kudankulam NPP has been steadily operating at its design capacity of 1,000 MW. The plant is expected to start operating at full capacity in 2027, according to Russian state media.
Addressing Indian Diaspora
In his address to the Indian community, Subramaniam Jaishankar described Russia as a special partner in a few areas like defense, nuclear power, and space. “Collaboration is done in areas of defense, space, and nuclear energy with countries with which you have a high degree of trust, he added.
“Today in my presence and that of Deputy Prime Minister Manutov, we signed some important agreements about the future units of the Kudankulam Nuclear power plant,” he said in front of the Indian diaspora
Jaishankar also said that the two sides agreed their negotiation teams would meet by the end of January 2024 to start in-person negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
“Today, when I met the Deputy PM, we agreed that early next year our negotiation teams will meet. So, I expect by the end of January 2024, hopefully, that the in-person negotiations will start,” he said responding to questions at the community event.
Finalizing the program of cooperation on the Russian Far East, expect to hold early meetings of the Eurasian Economic Union and India FTA negotiations. Will jointly organize connectivity events across the land and maritime corridors he posted on X.
If one looks at our economy, influence, and impact on the world today, it is very different from 10 years ago and will be different ten years later. We went on from the 10th largest economy a decade ago to be the 5th largest now and the 3rd largest and beyond that later.
Responding to a question about a payment problem between Russia and India, the minister said that “in an unusual situation, we were finding ways by which the banks deal with each other. People are unclear about what is happening. If you do not have a full picture or you do not have confidence people hold back Those who have banking relationships, do business with Russia, and can educate people about good banks and safe routes.
On December 27, 2023, the Indian Foreign Minister will be meeting Sergei Lavrov to discuss bilateral, multilateral, and international issues. “I am very sure that this relationship will grow from strength to strength And I think that in the last few years, I see frankly, for example, a greater focus on Asia. I think that it is partly one reason why our trade has grown so much in the last two years.
He appreciated the contribution of the Indian community to building a strong and steady collaboration between India and Russia.
“The Special and Privilege Strategic Partnership reflects the experiences and the sentiments of the last 75 years. Urged the community to contribute to the deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation. Their role in promoting close ties between our civil societies is invaluable. An Atmanirbhar Bharat will deepen ties with Russia in a multipolar world, he posted on X.
Jaishankar also visited the Russian Industry and Trade exhibition with Deputy PM Manturov “An interesting exposition on Russia’s contemporary capabilities. Holds promise for greater collaboration between our two countries,” he said.
The ties between India and Russia remained strong notwithstanding Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
India’s import of Russian crude oil has gone up significantly despite increasing disquiet over it in many Western countries.
“The time-tested India-Russia partnership has remained stable and resilient and continues to be characterized by the spirit of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release ahead of Mr. Jaishankar’s visit.