Russia, India ready to step up ties
The trip is Dmitry Rogozin’s first as deputy prime minister and is also his first in the capacity of co-chairman of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Commission.
On July 17th Dmitry Rogozin will preside at the Commission’s meeting together with India’s External Affairs Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna. The two leaders will focus on measures to secure an early commissioning of the third and fourth units of the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project. The first unit is nearly ready, and the second is under testing. The Fukushima nuke disaster in Japan led to heated debates concerning the expediency of further nuclear cooperation with Russia. As a result, nuclear energy cooperation between Russia and India has been running into numerous hurdles. Dmitry Rogozin is expected to alleviate India’s fears in connection with reports that joint nuclear projects could be unsafe.
Nuclear energy cooperation and cooperation in high technology should secure a breakthrough in Russian-Indian cooperation. This issue will dominate the meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission, said Tatiana Shaumyan of the Indian Research Center of the Institute of Oriental Studies in a Voice of Russia interview.
"Since Dmitry Rogozin is responsible for defense and technology cooperation in the government, defense ties will be discussed at length during the meeting. There was a time when we witnessed a setback in this area but things have been moving back to normal with joint defense projects continuing and Russian military supplies to India resuming."
The participants in the meeting will consider problems that stand in the way of bilateral partnership. Among other issues, the Russian and Indian leaders will look into the future of the Russian JSFC Sistema on the Indian market, Russia’s Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin told a Voice of Russia correspondent. The Sistema Corporation, which has invested more than three billion dollars in the Indian mobile sector, is running into protectionist barriers and might have to go out of business. Alexander Kadalkin comments.
"The future of JSFC Sistema will be one of the key points for discussion during Dmitry Rogozin’s visit. Given that the Russian state provided a considerable share of Sistema’s investments in India, Russia will insist on a fair settlement of the dispute."
The forthcoming session of the Russian-Indian Cooperation Commission will be the first after the BRICS summit in New Delhi and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Beijing. During the New Delhi summit, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa agreed to speed up the transfer of mutual settlements in national currencies and resolved to set up a Development Bank for Joint Projects. During the Beijing summit, Russia, China, and the four Central Asian countries called for a greater participation of Shanghai forum observers in energy, transport, and economic projects. India is a member of the SCO observer group along with Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mongolia.
Apparently, Russia and India boast sufficient potential to take the lead in pursuing these multilateral projects.