India, Russia Inter-Govt Commission meet on Monday

NEW DELHI, Oct 13:
Key strategic issues, including those on trade and scientific matters, will be discussed between India and Russia during the Inter-Governmental Commission meeting on Monday following which the two sides are also expected to talk on Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) 3 and 4.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin will co-chair the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission meeting on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation(IRIGC-TEC).
Being held ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit, the two ministers will also set the agenda for the annual summit talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Putin on November one.
The Commission will review the progress made by Joint Working Groups on various issues, including trade and economy, energy, science and technology. Bilateral trade increased to USD 8.8 billion last year. The two sides are looking to scale up ties to USD 20 billion by 2015.
“The IRIGC-TEC is the apex forum for bilateral economic cooperation between India and the Russian Federation. It is a vital pillar of the special and privileged partnership between India and Russia,” Ministry of External Affairs said today.
Asked if the two ministers will discuss the KNPP III and IV, the official spokesperson in MEA has said though, the issue was not part of the Commission Meeting, the two leaders will discuss entire gamut of bilateral ties which will include the deliberations on this also.
With differences in perception over India’s civil nuclear liability law, the negotiations on the units III and IV of the KNPP have become a point of contention.
While Russia argues that the civil nuclear liability law should not apply to these units as the agreement on them predates the 2010 civil liability law, and could be seen as “grandfathered” by the original 1988 agreement, India has made it clear that making an exception for Russia will amount to diluting its civil nuclear law which will encourage the US and France to seek similar exemptions, which it cannot afford.
The estimated cost of units III and IV is USD 6.4 billion, of which USD 3.4 billion will be taken care of by Russian state credits. (PTI)


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