Russia and India will sign an additional agreement in October over the much-delayed upgrade and delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, a senior Russian official said today.
“The negotiations are still on and we hope to ink the additional agreement by mid-October,” chief of the Russian Technologies Corporation, Sergei Chemezev, told reporters in the Kremlin as President Pratibha Patil began her high-level talks with the Russian leadership.
Defence cooperation was one of the key issues of Patil’s parleys with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today. In addition to the original $616 million cost of upgrade, the Severodvinsk-based Sevmash shipyard is demanding additionally up to $2 billion for the refit of the 45,000-tonne Kiev class aircraft carrier, to be inducted as INS Vikramaditya.
Originally, the Russian shipyard was to deliver it in August 2008. However, due to extra work and dispute over the refit cost, its delivery has been deferred till 2012.
In July, visiting the Sevmash shipyard, President Medvedev had described the Gorshkov issue as the ‘sole irritant’ in bilateral relations with India and ordered it to complete negotiations and deliver the ship within the agreed deadline.