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Russia, India Sign Agreement to Build Civil Nuclear Reactors


Russia and India have signed an agreement to build civilian nuclear reactors in India during a visit by the Russian president to New Delhi. The two countries have also called for greater international cooperation in the fight against terror.

The agreement to build four new nuclear energy reactors in the southern state of Tamil Nadu was concluded Friday after Russian President Dmitri Medvedev held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

Russia is the third country to sign an atomic energy agreement with India after the Nuclear Suppliers Group lifted a ban on trade of nuclear technology with New Delhi in September. India has concluded similar accords with France and the United States.

The Russian president came for a two-day visit to India a week after the Indian business hub of Mumbai was devastated by coordinated terror strikes.

At a news conference with the Russian leader, Mr. Singh said India was hurt and angry as never before by the terror attacks, and called for greater international cooperation in the fight against terror.

"I conveyed to President Medvedev the sense of anger and outrage in India over the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. We deeply appreciate Russia's expression of solidarity with India at this moment. We both agreed that these attacks represent a threat to all open and pluralistic societies, and require a major intensification of efforts against supporters and terrorism anywhere in the world," he said.

On top of the Russian leader's agenda was increasing defense cooperation with India. Moscow has traditionally been the main supplier of defense equipment to India, but it has been facing competition from countries like Israel and the United States in recent years .

Mr. Singh said India will continue to have strong defense links with Russia.

"We have agreed to further strengthen our defense cooperation by increasingly focusing on joint production and research and development," he said.

New Delhi and Moscow, signed ten accords in areas ranging from tourism to trade. These include stepping up cooperation in space exploration. Russia will send an Indian cosmonaut into space in 2013 and launch a manned Indian spacecraft in 2015. Both countries also want to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2010.

The Russian leader cancelled plans to visit Italy after his visit to India, and decided to return to Moscow due to the death of the Russian Orthodox Patriach Alexei II.

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