Alexander Kadakin, Russia’s Ambassador to India, has termed the “breakthrough” on India-U.S. nuclear agreement during the visit of the U.S. President Barack Obama to India as “premature” and “only promises with a dose of euphoria”. He, in an exclusive interview to The Hindu, rebuffed the idea of Russia being in competition with the U.S. following the Indo-U.S. agreement; however, he claimed Russia to be the only real partner of India in the field of India’s peaceful nuclear programme. He further added that the agreement contains merely commitments and promises, and lacks in clarity.
As per a statement of the Russian officials issued only the last week, the cost of power from the proposed nuclear reactors of the U.S. would be almost double that from the Russian reactors. It claimed complete satisfaction of Indian “friends” with their reactors that are safe, eco-friendly, cost effective, and the best in quality.
The comments of the Russian ambassador reflect uneasiness on the closer ties between India and the U.S., especially in the nuclear field. Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, announced in December last the building of 12 new reactors in India besides the “Kundankulam-series” reactors already under construction or operational in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. These comments impels India a tight rope walk with balancing act in terms of friendship with the U.S. and Russia-a long term ally. The visit of President Obama on 25th January led to the declaration of friendship between India and the U.S., and a vision statement containing a commitment for joint partnership in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific regions. In order to mitigate the India’s perceived tilt towards the U.S., Sujatha Singh, the then Foreign Secretary of India, reiterated India’s continued strategic partnership with Russia. The Indian Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, met her Russian counterpart at the end of January. Also, the President of India, Pranav Mukherjee, and the P.M., Narendra Modi, are visiting Russia separately on the occasions of World War victory parade and the annual bilateral summit, respectively.