To Russia, with love
Vladimir Putin is the first Russian leader to attend the Republic Day parade. Taking stock of the Indo-Russian relationship, reports Nilova Roy Chaudhury.india Updated: Jan 27, 2007 00:57 IST
Energy: India and Russia have collaborated in Sakhalin 1. There is also a demand for a stake in the Sakhalin-III project in Far East Russia, Russian companies are keen in extending gas pipelines to India. With two nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam, set to provide 2000 MW of power, Russia is also interested in adding four more units, each generating 1000 MW of power, to the project.
Defence: To enhance defence cooperation, joint production facilities have been included. The decks have been cleared for India to jointly develop and produce a fifth generation of fighter aircraft with Russia, based on the Sukhoi fighter. Russia will also supply and build 125 multi-role combat aircraft, the MiG-35 for the Indian Air Force.
Trade: Efforts are on to raise the level of bilateral trade, President Putin has called for ‘cutting the red tape’ to achieve a turnover of $80 billion by 2015, up from the current $3 billion. Indian exports to Russia in 2005-06 (US$ 0.74 billion) were less than the level of 1994-95 (US$ 0.85 billion). Imports from Russia into India for 2005-06 stood at US$ 2.02 billion compared to US$ 0.52 billion in 1994-95.
Space: Joint research and collaboration in the GLONASS (global navigational satellite system); assistance in the Indian manned lunar mission (Chandrayaan) and the Yuthsat — for research and technical education in universities.
High-Tech: Aviation, ship building, pharmaceuticals, mines and metallurgy are areas in which ‘serious plans’ for bilateral engagements are being discussed to bolster the strategic partnership.