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India, Russia wrap up Gorshkov deal

IANS
Dec 08, 2009 at 11:56am IST

Moscow: India and Russia have "successfully" concluded the agreement on the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, ending a long standoff over the key defence deal, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said.

The issue, Rao said, came up during the summit level talks between visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.

"Both the leaders discussed the issue and noted excellent progress on negotiations on price and technical issues which have been brought to a successful conclusion," she told reporters in a late night briefing.

DEFENCE ON HIGH: Moscow would finally deliver the refurbished aircraft carrier to India.

But the foreign secretary gave no details about the price. Sources had earlier said that it was "satisfactory" for both sides.

The delivery of the aircraft carrier, now rechristened INS Vikramaditya, was agreed years ago but has been long delayed due to bargaining over refitting prices.

The haggling of the Soviet-era carrier had come to symbolise the strains in relations between the two Cold War allies.

Russian media quoting Kremlin sources confirmed that Moscow would finally deliver the refurbished aircraft carrier to India.

However, there was no word on when the vessel might be handed over to the Indian Navy.

Manmohan Singh was on a three-day trip to Moscow during which he signed six bilateral pacts, including a deal on the peaceful use of atomic energy that guarantees uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies for Indian reactors and transfer of technology.

The two sides also inked three military pacts.

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