Russia Backs PM's Remarks on Kudankulam Project

Russia's ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin has said that his country's stand on American non- government agencies (NGOs') stalling the Kudankulam nuclear project in Tamil Nadu has been vindicated by a statement made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during an interview with a science magazine on Thursday.

NEW DELHI: Russia's ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin has said that his country's stand on American non- government agencies (NGOs') stalling the Kudankulam nuclear project in Tamil Nadu has been vindicated by a statement made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during an interview with a science magazine on Thursday.

“The thinking segment of our population certainly is supportive of nuclear energy,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said expressing displeasure over protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

"We have been suspecting it all along, and, I was openly saying this, because it was very strange. Six months after the Fukushima tragedy, all those protesters raise their voices. They were sleeping for six months, and then, all of sudden, they raise their voices against the most secure, the best and the safest (nuclear power) station in the world," said Kadakin in an interview.

"We were perplexed, but now we stand vindicated," Kadkin added.

On Thursday, speaking to the Science journal, Prime Minister Singh said: "The atomic energy programme has got into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly, I think, based in the US, don't appreciate the need for our country to increase energy."

The minister in charge of the Prime Minister's Office, V.Narayanasamy, told on Friday that the union home ministry is investigating the background and funding of these NGOs, and added that the government had received reports that these organisations were being funded by outfits from the United States and some Scandinavian countries.

Manmohan Singh's remarks have sparked off a political row, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) asking him to reveal the details of US NGOs' involvement in public.

Without directly naming the United States, Kadakin said some strategic friends of India who were not doing anything for its energy sector, don't like the idea of India becoming strong, and therefore, are stalling the Kudankulam project through proxies.

Kadakin further claimed that some strategic powers wanted to hamper Indo-Russian cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy, and emphasized that Russia wants India to be strong and the people of Tamil Nadu to get electricity.

Russia has expressed hope that it would like India to go ahead with its nuclear energy roadmap.

"The Prime Minister's statement and the home ministry's findings would unlock the situation at Kudankulam," Kadakin said.