Broadbased nuke pact with Russia to be beyond 123 agreement

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 06, 2009 13:10 hrs

The broadbased nuclear agreement with Russia, which is to be signed during Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh"s visit to Moscow, commencing from today, is expected to go beyond the bilateral 123 civil nuclear agreement signed between India and the United States last year.

Both sides are giving final touches to what is being called a Bilateral Framework Inter-Governmental Agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

India sees this new agreement with Russia as a forward-looking arrangement according to which reprocessing and fuel supply will not be interrupted even if India conducts nuclear tests.

India has been engaged in nuclear trade with Russia for almost two decades, whereas it has formally signed the civil nuclear deal with the US just last year. However, trade in this sector between New Delhi and Washington remains in limbo.

Despite several rounds of discussions between the delegations of the two countries, nuclear commerce is yet to take off. Sources said that techical issues of liability and reprocessing are holding it up.

Recently when asked for his comments on why India and the United States had not been able to give the final touches to the US-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation deal, especially on the issue of reprocessing during Prime Minister Singh"""s visit to Washington last month, National Security Adviser M.K.Narayanan said: "It is likely to conclude in a matter of days. We have agreed to the modalities, now just the language, the legalese needs to b worked out."

"Thanks to intervention of President (Obama), we have arrived at the very last stage. There is only one matter left, its only a matter of legalese," he had added.

Official sources here said that as far as reprocessing is concerned, it is connected with arrangements and procedures of one dedicated facility. They said that the United States understood that it would be to their advantage to begin with that. (ANI)

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