France to be India’s first stop for nuclear shopping | delhi | Hindustan Times
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France to be India’s first stop for nuclear shopping

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2008 02:52 IST
Amit Baruah

France will become the first country to conduct nuclear business with India. Both countries will sign a previously agreed text for bilateral civil nuclear cooperation on September 30 during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Paris.

With this, both New Delhi and Paris have signalled that they won't wait for the ratification of the 123 agreement between India and the United States, which is now before the US Congress. So, even if the US Congress doesn't pass the deal, India will become a nuclear customer for France.

With the French already ready with the ink and paper, Russia can't be far behind. Sources confirmed a statement made by Russian Ambassador to India, Vyacheslav Trubnikov to Hindustan Times on Saturday, that an Indo-Russian agreement to buy reactors and fuel will be signed during the visit of President Dimitry Medvedev to New Delhi in December.

India is also looking to buy uranium from Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) nations willing to sell to India. Countries like Kazakhastan have already show interest in selling uranium, which India requires to operate its existing nuclear reactors.

Indian feathers have been ruffled by US President George W. Bush's communication to the US Congress suggesting that Washington had made no legally binding commitments on the supply of nuclear fuel to New Delhi. India plans to raise these issues before the two countries finally sign the deal. But in the meantime, nuclear business will start — regardless of what happens in America — with France. And very soon with Russia.