India-Bangladesh-Russia civil nuclear cooperation on the cards


NEW DELHI, Mar. 23: India and Bangladesh are expected to sign a civilian nuclear deal during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India from April 7-10. This will lead to trilateral cooperation with Russia, which is building a nuclear power plant in Rooppur in Bangladesh. 

The proposed deal, which will be India’s second such pact in the neighbourhood after the one with Sri Lanka, marks the first time India is joining hands with any nuclear power for cooperation with a third country. 

Bangladesh wants to gain experience from the Russian nuclear power plant (NPP) in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, officials said. 

“Training in complicated technology is very essential. Training of specialists from Bangladesh at Kudankulam NPP in India will be economically beneficial and language-wise acceptable,” a Bangladesh government official told ET from Dhaka on condition of anonymity. 

Russia has been a steadfast supporter of India’s position on Bangladesh ever since the 1971 war and has strong ties with the Awami League government led by Hasina. 

In 2014, India and Russia had signed the ‘Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy’, which envisaged that the two sides would also explore opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for construction of Russiandesigned nuclear power plants in third countries. 

Russia and Bangladesh had in 2010 signed a pact for peaceful use of atomic energy. The construction of Rooppur NPP, 160 km from Dhaka, on the eastern bank of Gang river, is being done in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in construction of a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh, Alexey Pimenov, CEO of ROSATOM South Asia told.

Hasina and the general director of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation, Sergey Kirienko, laid the first stone in the foundation of the future Rooppur NPP in 2013. (ET)


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