On Cessation of Fingerpointing and Special Relations

In case you’re not in the mood to think or talk about Iran or Syria, here is some stuff on India. (But who cares about India now?)

Anyway, Rosatom’s Kiriyenko and crew have been “making the rounds at Kudankulam”:http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/20/stories/2008112055441300.htm. (Check out physical progress of construction at NPCIL’s “snazzy new website”:http://npcil.nic.in/npcil_new_web/main/ConstructionDetail.aspx?ReactorID=77.) Apparently, Kiriyenko “was quite pleased”:http://www.rosatom.com/en/news/12774_20.11.2008:

bq. “Today, we have seen significant changes at the two reactors and auxiliary facilities,” Kiriyenko said while opening a working conference after visiting the site. He thanked Indian and Russian engineers for *“working hard for the sake of the general cause and not pointing at one another in case of problems.”*

Also, a few days back, Interfax “conducted an interview”:http://www.interfax.com/17/447042/Interview.aspx with India’s Ambassador to Russia Prabhat Shukla. Below is my favorite part:

[Interfax:] _In your opinion, what is the outlook of Indian-Russian contacts in the field of atomic energy, given that Nuclear Suppliers Group recently lifted its sanctions from India? Does India intend to sign a contract on cooperation with Russia in this field?_

[Amb. Shukla:] Just to clarify something that is important, India was not under any sanctions from the Nuclear Suppliers Group. In the previous scenario, the Nuclear Suppliers Group approved nuclear trade and commerce only to countries that have accepted full scope and comprehensive safeguards. India does not accept comprehensive safeguards. What has now happened is that the Nuclear Suppliers Group has made an exemption specific to India. Notwithstanding India not accepting comprehensive safeguards, the NSG countries have now decided to engage in nuclear cooperation with India. It is a very welcome development and *I must pause here to say a sincere thank you to the Russian leadership for its support to India in the NSG. I know that it was very effective support which we got from Russia. Russia also lobbied very hard in our favour with other NSG members*.

As for what we are going to do, we are hoping to sign an intergovernmental agreement when President Medvedev is in India. I think Russia is in a unique position as far as nuclear trade with India is concerned because Russia is already constructing two nuclear reactors in Kudankulam in India. I think this is now going to grow, and *Russia has probably the best prospects among any of our partners in winning more lucrative contracts for nuclear reactors* since they already have men and material on the ground, in India.

Anyway, get ready for a “Russo-Indian nuclear lovefest”:http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20081118_3186.php in December.

Ah yes, Shukla also noted that the process of deciding who gets to sell India the 126 fighters will be “very fair, objective and transparent.” _Riiiiight._

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