(Edits, updates with quotes, details)
ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 1 (Reuters) - Russia signed an agreement with the Indian government on Thursday to build two new reactors for the Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu and said it would loan India $4.2 billion to help fund construction.
President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to build a dozen nuclear reactors in India over the next 20 years to back Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s growth strategy for Asia’s third-largest economy, which continues to suffer chronic power shortages.
The agreement to build reactors 5 and 6 at Kudankulam was signed in St Petersburg during a meeting between Putin and Modi at an economic forum. It should help cement already close ties between the two countries.
Atomstroyexport, a unit of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, will carry out the work, Kremlin documents seen by Reuters showed.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters the Russian government was lending India $4.2 billion from next year for a 10-year period to help cover construction costs.
Separately, in a joint declaration, the two countries said they noted the “wider use of natural gas” which they hailed as an economically efficient and environmentally friendly fuel that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help them fulfil the terms of the Paris climate change accord. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alexander Winning)