India and Russia are expected to sign upto nine agreements in the fields of military, energy and trade during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Moscow next week and are on course to finalise a pact to build Kudankulam nuclear plant's third and fourth units.
Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin spoke about the prospects of the two countries signing seven to nine pacts at a news conference where he also said Russian Navy will "soon" hand over to India the Akula-II class nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa to be rechristened INS Chakra.
Singh leaves for Moscow on December 15 on a three-day visit to attend the annual India-Russia Summit the next day.
Kadakin said despite the "internal" problems in India on the Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu Russia is looking forward to expand its nuclear cooperation with this country. The commissioning of the first two reactors at the plant in Tirunelveli district has been stalled due to protests by locals.
"We are looking for agreement not just for units three and four but also units five and six and seven and eight and beyond," he added.
Kadakin declined to give any specfic time-frame for the delivery of the nuclear attack submarine. Russian Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky recently said the Indian crew is "now absolutely prepared" for operating the submarine which will be on a 10-year lease. The lease contract is estimated at some $ 900 million.
Elaborating on Indo-Russian Defence ties, which has been the bedrock of bilateral cooperation, Kadakin said work on development of the ambitious co-production of fifth generation fighter aircraft was proceeding well.
"Work on the aircraft is proceeding well. There are no obstacles," he added.