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India may get Wassenaar membership: Russia

08 December 2017

"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.

After joining Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) previous year, India is set to become a member of another multilateral export control regime, Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), after the participating states agreed on the country's bid for the entry on Thursday.

India was made the 42nd member of the grouping, at its two-day plenary in Vienna.

Russia has said it will raise the issue of India's Nuclear Supplier Group membership with China during the upcoming Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers' meeting in New Delhi on December 11.

Jaishankar and Ryabkov led the diplomats of India and Russian Federation respectively for the foreign office consultation in New Delhi.

India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington.

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"We want to bring the group back to its roots and make it possible for the group to consider everyone's supporting applications on its merits and this is how it should be done in case of India", he said. India has applied for membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement with the secretariat of the group, which is located in Vienna, Austria.

An entry into the export control regime would enhance India's credentials in the field of non-proliferation despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls global nuclear commerce.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj before a Russia-India-China (RICS) meeting along with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin later this month.

For years, India has been trying to gain entry into all the four regimes that govern trade of potentially risky technologies.

On Pakistan's entry to the NSG, Ryabkov said there is no prospect for any "unanimity" with respect to the Pakistani application.

India may get Wassenaar membership: Russia