Putin May Discuss New Modes Of Trade Ties

New Delhi, October 28: | Updated: Oct 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
With the rupee funds for Indo-Russian trade set to run out by 2005, the two countries will be deliberating on banking arrangements in future. This is expected to be the highlight of the forthcoming visit of Russian president Vladmir Putin from December 2-5.

Mr Putin would be mainly discussing issues related to economic cooperation, sources said, adding the talks would focus on encouraging business in high value items and finally to use the rupee-rouble funds which essentially means setting up joint ventures in various sectors, besides identifying new areas of cooperation.

Discussions would also cover the whole gamut of international issues including Central Asia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. On the bilateral front, nuclear and space cooperation would be discussed.

Eight agreements might be also signed during the visit, sources said. They include agreements on intellectual property rights, civil laws, telecom, equivalence of degrees in education, consular issues, a protocol on property arrangements, and international terrorism and disaster management.

Though there was a plan to set up an energy forum during the visit, sources said this might not happen, adding however, the issue would be discussed at the inter-government meeting to be held in November before the presidential visit.

The two sides would also talk about the Admiral Gorshkov deal. While the technical discussions in this regard had been concluded, the deal is hanging fire over the price. Defence ministry sources said, we have decided in principle to buy Admiral Gorshkov and only the price has to be settled on the refit and weapon purchases.

The Russians say they cant offer a lower price, as the cost is driven by a fixed amount of labour. The three-year refit will be carried out by the Russian company, sources said.

Bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism constitutes an important component of the strategic partnership between the two nations.

This commitment was reiterated in the Moscow declaration on international terrorism, which was signed by Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and Mr Putin last November during the formers visit to Russia.