The Russian agreement also allows India to reprocess and enrich spent nuclear fuel — which is being negotiated with the US under a separate agreement.
But the biggest fish eluded the Prime Minister. Addressing a joint press conference at the Kremlin, President Medvedev, said: “I will be very frank. We are not interested in expanding the nuclear club.”
New Delhi has been canvassing support from the five declared nuclear powers for a proposed amendment to the NPT which would make India a de jure nuclear weapon state rather than merely a de facto one.
The NPT grants nuclear weapon state status to countries that carried out nuclear tests before January 1, 1967. India wants the cut-off date pushed beyond May 18, 1974 — when it carried out its first test.
Significantly, American President Barrack Obama had referred to India as nuclear power at a joint press conference with Singh in Washington on November 24 — the first time any US president has done so.