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India shells out more for Gorshkov aircraft carrier
Indian defence officials have confirmed that India has released another US$102 million towards acquisition of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. The much-delayed deal has been a cause of tension between India and Russia.
INDIAN DEFENCE officials disclosed that they have released US$102 million to Russia in order to finalize delivery of the aircraft carrier within December 2012. Discussions over delivery of the warship faced a deadlock on the issue of escalating cost of the carrier. 

The information came in the wake of the Moscow visit of a high-level defence team from India in order to bring a fresh lease of life to increasingly unsteady Indo-Russian relations. India has already payed $500 million towards purchase of the aircraft carrier. Russia is currently insisting on $2.9 billion for delivery of the aircraft carrier while the original value was put at $1.5 billion when the deal was inked back in 2004. However since 2004, Gorshkov has undergone a refit valued at $974 million. India is negotiating for a figure closer to $2.2 billion.

India and Russia are long known to have historic political and defence ties and India has for long been Russia's largest defence partner with New Delhi's annual defence purchases from Russia averaging $1.5 billion. However the tension over the much-delayed and cost-inflated Gorshkov warship, among other issues, has resulted in deterioration in defence ties between the countries.  

The Indian Defence Ministry is hoping that the revised Gorshkov deal will be cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security, before the end of July.

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