Russian President given ceremonial reception in New Delhi

Russian President Dmitry MedvedevNew Delhi, Dec 5 : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.

Medvedev was welcomed by his Indian counterpart Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Medvedev, who arrived here on a three-day visit on Thursday, is to hold wide-ranging talks with Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Apart from cooperation in areas like defence, security and arms trade, the two sides will explore new areas of technology exchange and joint ventures as indicated by the Russian side, besides further expanding the trade and economic ties.

But the hallmark of Medvedev''s maiden visit will be the new beginning in the areas of nuclear cooperation, after India got the mandatory NSG waiver and a safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The two countries are expected to sign eight agreements including a Civil Nuclear Pact under which Russia will build four additional atomic reactors in India''s southern Tamil Nadu.

On Thursday, President Medvedev said Russia might lease out nuclear-powered submarines to India as part of deepening defence ties.

The two countries are also expected to share views on combating terrorism with Medvedev already having offered full-fledged cooperation to India in this regard in the wake of deadly Mumbai terror attacks.

Russia and India have seen a growth in bilateral trade this year, which increased in the first nine months of 2008 by 41.6 per cent to 3.8 billion dollars year-on-year.

The last Russian-Indian summit was held in November 2007, when Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Russia. (ANI)