Russia's top security official discusses cooperation with India

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Russia's Security Council chief, Nikolai Patrushev, said in New Delhi on Thursday that Russia is India's most important strategic partner.
NEW DELHI, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Security Council chief, Nikolai Patrushev, said in New Delhi on Thursday that Russia is India's most important strategic partner.

"India has once against stressed that it enjoys strategic partnership [with Russia] as with no other country," Patrushev said following his meeting with Indian National Security Adviser Shri M.K. Narayanan.

Patrushev, who arrived in India on Tuesday for a four-day official visit, and Narayanan discussed issues of bilateral cooperation, security, energy and fight against terrorism.

He said India is interested in exchanging information on Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as other forms of cooperation within the framework of the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

The official also discussed the forthcoming visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who will pay his first trip to India as Russia's head of state in early December.

"It will be a very busy visit and we must use it to give a new impetus to the development of relations," Patrushev said.

The Russian security chief also said he discussed with Narayanan an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the nuclear energy sphere, which is planned to be signed during Medvedev's visit.

Russia and India are currently preparing to sign a bilateral nuclear agreement initialed in February 2008. Under the agreement, Russia will help to build four more reactors at India's Kudankulam nuclear power plant. Further nuclear cooperation is also envisaged.

Atomstroyexport, Russia's nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly, has been building two reactors for the Kudankulam plant in the southern province of Tamil Nadu since 2002 in line with a 1988 deal between India and the Soviet Union and an addendum signed 10 years later.

India, a major purchaser of Russian arms, has moved closer to the United States since the end of the Cold War and recently agreed a deal on nuclear cooperation with Washington.

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