Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Wassenaar Arrangement plenary ends in Vienna, agrees to admit India

Wassenaar Arrangement plenary ends in Vienna, agrees to admit India

Since its civil nuclear deal with the US, India has been trying to get into export control regimes like Wassenaar Arrangement and the NSG.

In a major achievement, India on Thursday was granted the membership of elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement.

"Confirming that the WA's existing membership criteria continue to apply, WA Participating States reviewed the progress of a number of current membership applications and agreed at the Plenary meeting to admit India which will become the Arrangement's 42nd Participating State as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining the WA are completed", the statement said.

"At the same time they will not sign the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement (CSA) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)" which is mandatory under the NPT, he said.

Yesterday, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said India was likely to get the membership of the grouping in the ongoing plenary session.

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Wednesday discussed India's entry into the Wassenaar Arrangement with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. Through the revised list of items, India also seeks to send a message about its larger commitment to non-proliferation. 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.

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.

"The issue of India's membership has been more politicised than anything else and it is an unfortunate development".

This move is expected to help New Delhi acquire critical technologies, and raise its stature in the field of non-proliferation, even though it is not a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) admitted India as a member in June 2016.

"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 is also keen to get the membership of Australian Group, which governs global trade of materials used to make chemical and biological weapons.

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.

"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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