Aircraft carrier deal with India stands: Russia

February 23rd, 2008 - 8:20 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, Feb 23 (RIA Novosti) The deal with India for selling the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov stands, a spokesman for the Russian shipyard that is refurbishing the ship says, refuting reports that the deal could be scrapped. Sevmash spokesman Mikhail Starozhilov said that India is not interested in severing its contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s sole state-run arms exporter, although it will have to pay an extra billion roubles for the ship.

“The two sides are currently actively involved in top-level negotiations. The Indian Navy chief will come in March to settle the differences. In Russia, this question is supervised by the ministry of defence. These facts prove that neither side wants to annul the contract,” Starozhilov said.

Director of the foreign ministry’s second department of Asia Alexander Maryasov said that the problems associated with the reconstruction of the ship were being discussed by high-ranking officials and experts.

“The sides are discussing a number of technical, legal and financial issues. In the near future, they will establish a working group to consider proposals on resolving this problem with a concerted effort. This is a solvable problem,” the diplomat said.

Rosoboronexport and the Indian Navy signed the contract for the ship in 2004. The project provides for the vessel’s repairs and modernisation. It will be equipped with the latest arms systems and ship-based MiG-29K fighters and anti-submarine early-warning Ka-27 and Ka-31 helicopters.

Currently, modernisation at Sevmash has slowed down.

Its general-director Nikolai Kalistratov explained that “at one time the Russian experts made a mistake in assessing the costs of the work, and their mistake was worth billions of roubles”.
RIA Novosti

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