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MOSCOW, November 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Indian officials are looking for early arrival next year, followed by commissioning in Mumbai of the renamed aircraft carrier Vikramaditya - formerly Russian navy's Admiral Gorshkov. The vessel was transferred to the Indian navy on November 16 and it is expected to go into service in India by January 2014, Indian Defense Minister AK Antony said on Monday.
Speaking at a meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Technical Co-operation, Antony thanked the Russian side for work on the carrier and expressed hope for further military and technical co-operation.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said: “This is good news for all of us, which has been broadcast lately on almost every channel of Russian and Indian television. And it is connected with completion of work and the handover of Vikramaditya to India. We hope the carrier will join the Indian navy this year.”
Shoigu noted that friendship and co-operation in various fields had united Russia and India for many decades. “The recent visit of the Indian prime minister to Russia and agreements reached between him and the Russian president only confirm the fact,” he added.
Vikramaditya is due to leave Russian territorial waters on November 30, laying a course for India. Plans chart its route via visits to 14 ports.