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NEW DELHI, October 19 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and India continue negotiating conditions for construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant’s third and fourth energy blocks, and India is sure necessary contracts will be signed soon, the country’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in an interview with Russian reporters on Saturday before his visit to Russia.
“Civil nuclear cooperation is an important area of our bilateral partnership with Russia. We deeply appreciate Russian assistance in development of nuclear energy in India when others had shunned nuclear commerce with us,” the prime minister said. “I am pleased that Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 achieved criticality in July this year and should begin to provide electricity to the grid soon. Kudankulam Unit 2 is in an advanced stage of construction. Indian and Russian companies have been holding negotiations on finalizing arrangements for Kudankulam units 3 and 4, and I am confident that these contracts would be finalized shortly. India remains interested in expanding nuclear power production in cooperation with Russia, and is committed to the full implementation of the Roadmap signed during the visit of President Putin to India in March 2010. We have already designated Haripur in West Bengal as an additional site to Kudankulam for constructing nuclear power plants in cooperation with Russia. We have also assured our Russian friends that an alternate site would be allocated, in case Haripur is not found feasible. I am confident that cooperation in nuclear energy production between our two countries will continue to deepen.”
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is coming to Moscow on an official visit due on October 20-22. He will have talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on October 21. Summits of the kind have been taking places every other year in Russia and every other year in India.
After the visit to Moscow, the prime minister will pay a visit to China, scheduled for October 22-24, India’s Foreign Ministry said.