Lavrov in India to firm agenda for Medvedev visit (Lead, Changing dateline)

Monday, November 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in India for a daylong trip Monday to firm up the agenda for President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit here next month.

Lavrov’s first engagement was at South Block for a meeting with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.

The minister, who landed here Monday afternoon, will also call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his Race Course Road official residence.

He will again meet Krishna at Hyderabad House for a formal meeting and signing of bilateral agreements.

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 for the high-level visit.

India and Russia are likely to sign a contract next month for the joint development and production of the fifth generation fighter aircraft.

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).

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

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