India, Russia to sign several agreements during Medvedev’s visit (Second Lead)

Monday, November 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - India and Russia will sign several agreements during the visit of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev next month, including for jointly developing a fifth generation combat jet.

“We are discussing the implementation of projects in various sectors, including the creation of a fifth generation fighter plane,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here after talks with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna.

Lavrov, who landed here Monday afternoon, also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his 7 Race Course Road official residence.

Lavrov’s first engagement was at South Block - a meeting with Krishna. He then met him again in the evening at the Hyderabad House.

The Russian minister also expressed support for India’s quest to become a permanent member of United Nations Security Council.

“We think the UN Security Council will only benefit if India becomes its permanent member. This is our position at the ongoing talks on UN reform,” said Lavrov.

He left Monday night after the talks.

The two foreign ministers had met last week at the trilateral Russia-India-China summit in Wuhan, China.

The inter-governmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical, economic and cultural cooperation had also met this month in New Delhi, where they finalised several agreements to be signed during the Medvedev visit.

In 2009, Russia-India trade reached the $7.5 billion mark. The countries plan to take the figure to $20 billion by 2015.

The biggest joint projects between the two countries today are the construction of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu and exploration of the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in Russia with participation of India’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

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