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Wassenaar Arrangement plenary starts in Vienna, may admit India

08 December 2017, 12:12 | Henrietta Morgan

Wassenaar Arrangement plenary starts in Vienna, may admit India

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

Mr. Ryabkov disclosed that the political committee of the 41-member Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, that is meeting in Vienna on Wednesday and Thursday, is likely to decide on India's membership request, and said he hoped for some "positive action, fingers crossed".

In a significant development, elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) today made a decision to admit India as its new member, which is expected to raise New Delhis stature in the field of non-proliferation besides helping it acquire critical technologies. "We make this point in the contacts with the Chinese at different levels, and India should be confident of Russia's assistance".

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Wednesday discussed India's entry into the Wassenaar Arrangement with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

"There are good chances of a positive action on the Indian application on the Wassenaar Arrangement (which) could be taken tomorrow", he said while interacting with mediapersons at the Russian Embassy here.

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China, which blocked New Delhi's plea for admission into the NSG, is not a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

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.

Russia's role is considered more important this year as it retains close ties with both India and China, two countries who have tense ties with each other.

Last year, India gained entry into the Missile Technologies Control Regime (MTCR), which paved way for it to get critical missile technologies and also export its missiles. "As president of the Wassenaar Arrangement this year and co-rapporteur of India's candidacy, France warmly congratulates India for joining the Arrangement".

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India has been trying to gain entry into the NSG but China is opposed to India's membership on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

According to a media report, Russia, France, Germany and the United States had supported India's bid to the group, where China is not a member.

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

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