Wassenaar Arrangement agrees to admit India as its new member

S Jaishankar Foreign Secretary discussed the prospect of India joining the Wassenaar Arrangement with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister. PTI file

India has found an ally in Russian Federation, who has been speaking to China at "all levels" to include India in the Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG).

Russian Federation is speaking to China at "all levels" for India's membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and hopes that India will win membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement, another multilateral technology regime India has applied to, Russia's deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said here on Wednesday. "China supports the NSG to follow the principle of consensus through consultation through transparent and fair intergovernmental process to deal with this issue", Geng said.

Membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, another export control regime, would give India a chance for a closer interaction with member-states and also hold up its credentials, despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Its opposition has made India's entry into the group hard as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.

China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls worldwide nuclear commerce.

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

In the plenary session, the WA reaffirmed its strong support for robust export controls on a global basis as an important tool for ensuring worldwide peace and stability.

In a major development, leading export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement today chose to admit India as its new member. "I can assure you that Russia's ties with no country in the world will come at the expense of its relationship with India", said Ryabkov. At the same time, NPT and relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council also say that non-NPT contracting countries are not nuclear weapon owned countries.

India has not signed the NPT, terming it discriminatory - as it only recognises nations which conducted nuclear explosive devices before 1967 as nuclear weapon states.

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"The third article of NPT says that the nuclear weapon free countries must sign CSA".

"This will subvert the NPT and whole global non- proliferation regime", he added.

"I hope we can find a solution that is accepted by all relevant parties and uphold the worldwide non-proliferation regime with NPT as the cornerstone".

"We recognise that at the moment there is no unanimity on Pakistan's application and that the same can not be interlinked with India's", said Ryabkov, after his meeting with Jaishankar.

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