The visit of Putin: oil, helicopters and nuclear power
Russian President Putin visited India last week was was welcomed as “…our most important defence partner…”, announcing that
Russia will manufacture one of its helicopters entirely in India. A commitment
to nuclear power generation was underlined with the announcement that Russia
will supply twelve more reactors over the next 20 years. The first reactor at
the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Southern India was commissioned last
year, increasing nuclear capacity by 25%. Another reactor at the same site will
be commissioned next year with two more to follow. There will be a new study
undertaken to identify more suitable sites. There will also be cooperative
studies in the field of oil and gas exploration and production, including an
evaluation of a possible Russia/India oil pipeline to transport Russian oil
directly to India’s ultra-modern refineries in Gujarat. Prime Minister Modi expressed
disappointment at declining bilateral trade between the two countries and Mr.
Putin undertook to help reverse the negative trend.