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Medvedev to Talk Stealth Fighter in India

NEW DELHI — Russia and India are expected to sign billions of dollars worth of defense and nuclear deals during the President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit here starting Tuesday.

An expected highlight of Medvedev’s trip will be a $30 billion agreement for the design and development of a stealth fighter jet to be inducted into the Indian air force, Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin said. The aircraft would be the equivalent of the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor.

“There is robust defense cooperation between the two countries,” said Vishnu Prakash, a foreign ministry spokesman. “It is not a mere buyer-seller relationship, but the two sides are looking at joint research and development and joint production.”

India and Russia are also expected to sign a general framework agreement for Russia to build two more nuclear power plants in Tamil Nadu in southern India, in addition to the two it is already building there.

 India and Russia are also likely to discuss liberalizing visa regimes as part of plans to double annual trade from the current $10 billion in the next five years. Indian business leaders have long complained about the difficulty of getting multiple-entry visas to Russia.

Medvedev, accompanied by key ministers and a large business delegation, will meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.

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