PM calls Russian president, seeks NSG support

July 25th, 2008 - 10:24 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) After winning the trust vote in parliament and putting the India-US nuclear deal on the fast track, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and sought Russia’s support in the IAEA board and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Medvedev has assured that Russia will help build consensus in the NSG. “The prime minister Thursday evening sought Russia’s support in the IAEA and NSG. The Russian president assured him that his country will help to build consensus for India in the NSG,” an official source told IANS here.

Medvedev congratulated Manmohan Singh on winning the trust vote in parliament Tuesday and his decision to go ahead with the next steps required to wrap up the nuclear deal, the official said.

The two leaders also discussed dates for Medvedev’s forthcoming visit to India which is likely to take place in December.

The prime minister’s telephonic conversation with Medvedev took place much before US President George W. Bush rang up Manmohan Singh and discussed the next steps in concluding the civilian nuclear deal.

The two last met on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Hokkaido early this month where Medvedev assured India his country’s strong support for global nuclear cooperation.

Russia, one of the first few countries to support the nuclear deal, and India initialled a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement early this year.

The accord envisages Russia helping India to build four additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

Russia is building two light water 1,000 MWe reactors at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

The India-US nuclear accord will be signed by the two counties after the IAEA board approves the India-specific safeguards agreement and the NSG amends its guidelines to allow global nuclear trade with India.

The NSG is likely to meet in the first week of August after the approval of the India-specific safeguards agreement by the IAEA board at its meeting Aug 1.

The NSG process is likely to be completed in August.

The 123 agreement is likely to be endorsed by the Congress by September before India and the US ink the bilateral civil nuclear cooperation agreement, opening the doors of global nuclear trade for New Delhi after a gap of three decades.

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