During bilateral talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of G-20 meetings, French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin assured him of their support to India’s membership in the United Nations (UN) Security Council and the Nuclear Supplier Group, respectively.
India has told Russia work on the first and second units of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu were on track. Work for these had earlier seen strong protests. Officials said Singh also met British Prime Minister David Cameron and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The tax issue on the Vodafone-Hutchison deal and cancellation of a licence to Sistema Shyam Teleservices did not figure in talks with Cameron and Putin.
Earlier, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, V Narayanasamy, had said 99 per cent of the work for the first unit in the Kudankulam plant was over. On the second unit, he had said only five per cent work was yet to be completed, while almost all construction activities were over. Officials said discussions were underway between India and Russia for the third and fourth units of the project. Russia was yet to come out with further details, they added.
While Putin promised Singh his country supported India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Hollande assured him France had always favoured New Delhi’s inclusion into the UN Security Council. A change of leadership in the country did not mean a change in France’s stance, Hollande said, adding the French government would continue to have strong strategic relations with India. Singh congratulated Hollande for his party’s victory in the national assembly.
Though Singh did not meet Chinese President Hu Jintao at the G-20 meetings, he is slated to meet Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jibao on the sidelines of the Earth Summit in Brazil.