Russia to build 16 nuclear plants; inks $10 billion deals with India

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin closed more than $10 billion in agreements with India, increasing Russia’s role as a partner in defense, nuclear energy, aerospace and communications.

“Putin has been the architect of the strategic partnership between India and Russia,” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after meeting with his Russian counterpart in New Delhi today. “Relations with Russia are a key pillar of our foreign policy.”

Putin, in five visits over the past decade, has spearheaded Russia’s effort to revive Cold War-era ties to India and fend off growing competition for defense and energy contracts from the U.S. and Europe. The Kremlin is playing on Indian ambitions to become a global power capable of rivaling China and sending manned missions to outer space.

Russian companies signed more than a dozen deals, including agreements to deliver India’s second aircraft carrier in 2012, build as many as 16 nuclear plants and sell 29 MiG-29 fighter jets. India also became the first country to win access to military use of Russia’s Glonass navigation network, a rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System. Putin promised to help send India’s first cosmonaut into space in three years and held open the possibility of joint moon exploration.

Full article here

+++