India, Russia to continue negotiations on aircraft carrierOctober 15th, 2009 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) India and Russia have failed to reach agreement on the revised cost of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov that the Indian Navy has purchased and negotiations on this are to continue, it was announced Thursday.
The issue was expected to have been resolved during Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s two-day visit to Moscow that concluded Thursday. However, no breakthrough could be achieved in spite of Antony’s meeting with his Russian counterpart, Anatoliy Serdyukov.
“On the sale of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, both sides agreed that the cost negotiations would continue to find a mutually acceptable solution,” a defence ministry statement said.
The deal for Gorshkov was signed in 2004 for $1.5 billion. Of this, approximately $948 million was meant for the ship’s refit and the balance for the 16 MiG-29 fighters and Kamov anti-submarine warfare helicopters it will carry.
The project hit the headlines in 2007 as the Russians increased the price and the delivery date was pushed back almost four years to 2012.
The two sides have been carrying on price negotiations for more than two years. India is unwilling to pay what it considers an unreasonable escalation that has nearly doubled the cost of the aircraft carrier.
According to senior officials involved in the negotiations with Russia, the newly quoted price fluctuates between $2.2 billion and $2.9 billion.
The carrier will be named INS Vikramaditya when it is commissioned in the Indian Navy.
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Tags: acceptable solution, admiral gorshkov, aircraft carrier, antony, defence minister, defence ministry, escalation, helicopters, indian navy, ins, mig 29, ministry statement, New Delhi, price negotiations, russian counterpart, russians, senior officials, spite, submarine warfare, vikramaditya