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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 27, 1989

LETTER FROM RAJIV GANDHI TO M. S. GORBACHEV (EDITED)

This document was made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation

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    Letter from Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev asking him to personally intervene on behalf of a project to create an atomic submarine in India.
    "Letter from Rajiv Gandhi to M. S. Gorbachev (Edited)," October 27, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Vitalii Leonidovich Kataev Papers, Box 13-14, Hoover Institution Archives . https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134411
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Received by USIuA of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs from the Indian Embassy in Moscow

November 3, 1989

Translation from English

Prime Minister

New Delhi

October 27, 1989

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to you in connection with the planned creation of an atomic submarine in India with Soviet cooperation. You probably remember that we clearly touched on this question in a conversation in Moscow on July 15th.

Work on this project has slowed because of our inability to come to an understanding on the basic engine installation of the submarine. While we would prefer to prolong the development of our own type of this installation, Soviet experts expressed concern about the safety of the system. At the time of his recent visit in India Academician Igor Dmitrevich Spasskii assured me that he will be satisfied with the course of work in all other areas of planning and construction, and he is convinced that the reactor plan should be changed because of safety considerations.

I am certain that we can consider and work out the details of a resolution of this problem through planned consultations and cooperation. If necessary, we can also develop an order of delivery of component systems from the Soviet Union with necessary consideration of mutual interests and considerations.

I am requesting your personal intervention because the impasse over this aspect of the program has already held up the implementation of the project for over a year. I am also requesting the Scientific Advisor on Questions of Defense Arunachalama to visit the Soviet Union to work out the details with his partners, after the political indication allows a resolution of the problem created.

With warm personal greetings,

Sincerely yours,

Rajiv Gandhi

TO HIS EXCELLENCY

CHAIR OF THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE USSR

OF THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE

MOSCOW