You are here

Akshay asked: Why is it said that India’s nuclear pact with Russia goes far beyond the bounds of the 123 pact with the US?

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Reshmi Kazi replies: During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow in December 2009, India and Russia signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement that was free from any curbs on India and guaranteed it against any limitations in the future. After the signing of the agreement, Sergei Kirienko, head of Rosatom, the Russian national nuclear corporation, suggested that Russia could eventually supply up to 20 nuclear reactors to India. It is expected that under the nuclear agreement, Russia will “set up more nuclear reactors in India, transfer the full range of nuclear energy technologies and ensure uninterrupted supply of fuel.”

    Unlike the Indo-US nuclear pact, the India-Russia nuclear pact is devoid of such restrictions as termination of ongoing nuclear cooperation and the return of equipment and fuel already supplied to India in a situation where the civil nuclear energy agreement is terminated. It is in this context that Prime Minister Singh had described the India-Russia nuclear pact as a “major step forward in strengthening [bilateral] existing cooperation in this field.” The nuclear pact with Russia, thus, is expected to go far beyond the parameters of the 123 agreement with the US. Russia has also made it clear that it would continue to have unrestricted nuclear cooperation with India despite the G8 resolution prohibiting the sale of reprocessing technologies to non-NPT countries.