May 12, 2012

New Indian-Russian nuclear and military agreements, Canadian uranium soon.

Now that India's de facto weapons status has been accepted through lifting of Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) sanctions India is working quickly to access uranium and nuclear technology. One nuclear and three military agreements were concluded with Russia this week. Another nuclear agreement, with Canada, is scheduled for signature in June 2010.

The simultaneous signing of nuclear and military agreements suggest "joint development of weapons systems and platforms" will continue Russia's assistance with India's submarine reactor (first deployed in the Arihant - see "Development" section here). As the reactor has only been at sea in the Arihant for several months, has not yet been operated at sea, it is highly likely that significant development and modification of the reactor will be required over the next two years.
The expected June 2010 agreement with Canada, in part providing for export of uranium to India, may also reduce India's interest in Australian uranium. Indian bitterness however, over Australia's uranium embargo, will still remain.

Agreement with Russia - Business Standard, December 8, 2009:

"India today signed a path-breaking civil nuclear agreement with Russia that will guarantee uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies for its atomic reactors and transfer of technology and also inked three military pacts.

The agreements were signed after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin here, during which the two leaders spoke of the need for “pinpointed” strategies to deal with terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The defence agreements, aimed at moving away from a buyer-seller relationship, provide for joint development of weapons systems and platforms over a 10-year period up to 2020 and vital after-sales support for Russian equipment supplied to India to end ad hocism in this critical area.
ITAR-TASS news agency reported that the two countries have finalised the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier deal, an irritant in the bilateral relations.

Singh described the Inter-Governmental framework agreement for civil nuclear cooperation as a “major step” forward and said India was “very satisfied” at the development of bilateral atomic cooperation.

The deal is seen as going much more beneficial for India than the historic 123 atomic agreement with the US, which does not guarantee fuel supplies without any break."

Fute agreement with Canada - IBN Live, November 29, 2009:

"India and Canada have agreed on a civil nuclear deal that will enable New Delhi to access Canadian nuclear technology and uranium after a gap of 34 years. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the development "augurs extremely well" for the ties between the nations.

The deal is likely to be signed when Manmohan Singh goes to Canada to attend the G20 summit in June next year. The breakthrough was announced on Saturday after Manmohan Singh held talks with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at this Trinidad and Tobago capital."