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N-cooperation high on agenda

The Russian president will be chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2007 22:50 IST

Civil nuclear cooperation with India will be on top of the agenda during Russian President Vladimir Putin's two-day state visit to India that begins January 25.

Putin will be the chief guest at this year's Republic Day celebrations, external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna told reporters here Thursday while announcing his visit.

Putin will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on an entire spectrum of bilateral ties in areas ranging from business, defence, energy to space and civil nuclear cooperation.

This will be the first meeting between Manmohan Singh and Putin after the US enacted a law to permit civil nuclear cooperation with India.

Putin's delegation will comprise ministers, top officials, businessmen and scientists connected with the Russian nuclear establishment.

Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency, is likely to accompany Putin on this important visit.

Russia, along with Britain and France, have already expressed support for civil nuclear cooperation with India and this issue will receive high priority during discussions between the two sides.

Last year, Russia, an influential member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, bailed out India's fuel-starved Tarapur reactors by supplying nearly 60 tonnes of uranium in the teeth of the American objections.

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