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India's chances 'very good' on Wassenaar membership says Russian Federation

08 December 2017

Deliberations are now underway in Vienna over India's membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement, a major export control regime that deals with non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

On Thursday, the members of the Wassenaar Arrangement, during their two-day plenary meeting in Vienna, chose to admit India.

The membership will not only help India in acquiring critical technologies but it will also strengthen India's bid for the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

"If everything goes as expected".

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According to Indian media reports, the issue came up for discussion on Wednesday as Sergei Ryabkov met Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

Moreover, the USA backing for India in the aftermath of the two countries' bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation in 2005 helped New Delhi acquire a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008 and accede to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016. Through the revised list of items, India also seeks to send a message about its larger commitment to non-proliferation. China argued that if the "NPT signatory" criterion was diluted to admit India into the NSG, it should also open up the door for other "non-NPT" countries, including Pakistan. Without naming anyone, Ryabkov said that unlike other countries that only speak of support, Russian Federation takes the first to help and actions speak more than words.

"The issue of India's membership has been more politicised than anything else and it is an unfortunate development". India is already a member of the Missile Control Technology Regime (MTCR). "We make this point in the contacts with the Chinese at different levels, and India should be confident of Russia's assistance".

China, which has repeatedly blocked New Delhi's bid for membership of the NSG, is not a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

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"This is an example and reflection of Russia's unwavering support to India's membership of worldwide nuclear control regimes", he added, speaking to journalists after meeting Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, and Secretary (Economic Relations) Vijay Gokhale, who is now the Sherpa for the BRICS grouping as well.

China is neither the member of the Wassenaar Arrangement nor the MTCR and the Australia Group.

"So, I don't think it will possible to interlink the application of India and Pakistan for becoming members of the NSG", he said.

Asked whether the issue will figure in the Russia, India, China (RIC) foreign ministers meeting to be held in Delhi on December 11, Geng said that the meeting will focus on pragmatic cooperation.

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India's chances 'very good' on Wassenaar membership says Russian Federation