India, Russia ink defence pacts worth Rs 22K cr

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 25, 2012 10:55 hrs

India and Russia on Monday formalised defence deals worth around Rs 22,000 crore along with several others that could boost bilateral trade between the allies as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in New Delhi for a brief visit.

While one contract was for the delivery of 71 Mi-17V 5 medium-lift helicopters, another dealt with delivery of 42 technological kits for SU-30 MKI combat aircraft licensed production.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote direct investment that envisages investments up to $2 billion in important bilateral projects or companies, privatisation and other opportunities.

The deals were signed during the 13th India-Russia Annual Summit in Delhi after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed their commitment to strategic and military partnerships.

Singh called Russia a key partner in India's efforts to enhance its defence preparedness, and said, "A number of joint-design, development and production projects are underway. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well."

The two sides took note of the progress made in the joint development and production of high-technology military equipment and projects and also discussed measures to ensure expeditious delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to India.

Prime Minister Singh, thanked Russian engineers and scientists for the support extended in the construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant and said "Construction of Unit 1 of the project is now complete and power generation will commence shortly."

The Russian side raised concerns over the situation involving Russian conglomerate Sistema which owns a 56.68 percent stake in Shyam Sistema Teleservices (SSTL), 21 of whose 22 licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court as part of its 2G spectrum verdict.

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