Monday, December 20, 2010

Medvedev to focus on nuclear liability law

NEW DELHI: High technology, says Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, is the focus of India-Russia relations. As Medvedev arrives in India on Sunday for his annual summit with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the effort continues in both countries to broadbase the bilateral relationship from purely defence and nuclear issues to more areas of India's economy.

In an exclusive interview with The Times of India, Medvedev said the visit would see both countries signing an integrated programme of cooperation in the areas of science, technology and innovation for the period to 2020.

Among the discussions with the Indian leadership, Medvedev said he hopes to solve "problems" with the nuclear liability law. Russia has said the Indian law should conform to the 1963 Vienna Convention, which it does not at present. But unwilling to make heavy weather of it at present, Medvedev said, "We seek to solve the relevant problems in a constructive way through negotiations."

An Indian mini moon rover will be added to the India-Russia spacecraft that will be launched in 2013, he said. "The Indian side is particularly interested in the Russian components for life-support and thermal control systems of Indian spacecraft."

With US-led forces readying to leave Afghanistan, India and Russia have resumed their conversation on the future of Afghanistan; Russia has begun a separate dialogue with Pakistan.

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