Pranab briefs his Russian counterpart about row over Indo-US N-deal

November 14th, 2007 - 2:47 am ICT by admin  
Harbin, Oct 24 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today briefed his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov about India’s position on the civilian nuclear cooperation deal with the US, which has been put on the back burner in the wake of the strong opposition from the Left parties.

Authoritative sources told ANI that Mukherjee discussed the nuclear deal with Lavrov during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the troika talks, which concluded today.

Sources further said that at the brief meeting between the two foreign ministers, both countries acknowledged that Pakistan was destabilizing Afghanistan.

Both sides decided to celebrate next year as the ‘Year of Russia in India’ and over 150 cultural programmes are slated to be held this year.

The bilateral meeting is being seen as the groundwork for the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to Russia, which sources said would take place in the second week of November i.e. before the AEAN summit, which commences on November 19.

India needs to conclude a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), get approvals from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and a second backing from the US Congress before the nuclear deal can come into force.

Although it faces no formal deadline, Washington wants the pact — considered highly lucrative for American firms — clinched next year before the end of Bush’s term to avoid its fate becoming uncertain under a new administration. (ANI)

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