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Russia formally hands over Admiral Gorshkov to India

By Vinay Shukla in Moscow
March 09, 2004 23:45 IST
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Russia on Tuesday formally handed over aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov to the Indian Navy for the subsequent refit at a naval dockyard in north Russia.

At a ceremony in the White Sea port city of Severodvinsk, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Colonel-General A M Moskovsky handed over the 44,000-tonne ship to Indian Ambassador Krishnan Raghunath.

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"The handing over of the ship is an outstanding symbol of Indo-Russian defence cooperation, as well as of the close and long established friendship between the two countries, which has in recent years been consolidated into a strategic partnership," an Indian embassy release in Moscow said.

Within the next 52 months, Severodvinsk-based SevMash Naval shipbuilders have to deliver Admiral Gorshkov to the Indian Navy after repairs and refit.

Under the October 4, 2000 agreement signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's first visit to New Delhi, Moscow is to give the ship for 'free' to India.

In pursuance of the acquisition deal, 16 contracts were signed on January 20, 2004 during Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov's visit to India.

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Vinay Shukla in Moscow
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