India and Russia “have more or less reached an agreement” on the price of modernising Admiral Gorshkov, the Russian aircraft carrier renamed INS Vikramaditya.
“We have agreed on a satisfactory price tag,” a senior government official involved in the deal said, but declined further details. There is, however, “only one sticking point”, so the final deal may not be inked during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s three-day visit to Russia, which began on Sunday.
This deal has been held up as the Russian side has been demanding a massive increase over the 2004 contract price of $1.5 billion (Rs 7,200 crore).
Singh would also meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin under whose Presidency the two countries had established the strategic partnership in 2000.
N-deal with Russia
The two sides are expected to sign landmark framework agreement on nuclear cooperation on Monday. It is a more forward looking agreement than the 123 pact with the US.
It will ensure that fuel supply agreements for ongoing projects will not be affected even if the pact has to be terminated for any reason.
On David Headley
The Americans have indicated that they have found leads linking David Headley to the 26/11 attacks, the senior official said. “A Federal Bureau of Investigations team will arrive in India tomorrow (Monday), but at this stage, we don’t know what they’ll bring.”
Role in Afghanistan
“We’re already training Afghan army officers, non-commissioned officers and medical personnel... This will continue, as per the requirements of the Afghanistan government. But nobody has asked us to send troops to that country,” another official said.
He has given no indication that he is willing to talk, but if he is, we will consider it. But there can be no negotiations on the so-called “sovereignty of Assam” or the integrity of India.