Russia will continue to support India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov (pictured above) said on Wednesday, reported The Hindu. Ryabkov, who spoke with India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, said Russia will take up the matter with China during the 15th RIC (Russia, India, China) foreign ministerial meeting scheduled for December 11.
“Russia is a firm proponent of India’s entry into platforms like NSG, Wassenaar Arrangement,” said Ryabkov. “We would want India to be part of all these... Russia has always undertaken a particular effort in India’s NSG membership. We are talking to everyone.” Ryabkov added that India’s and Pakistan’s application for membership to the elite NSG cannot be compared, adding that the former’s credentials are very “impressive and impeccable”, reported Mint.
The NSG is a 48-nation body, which monitors and controls the export of materials or technology that can be used to create nuclear weapons. Admission of new members to the NSG is done through consensus. India had formally applied for NSG membership in May 2016. Even though India has the backing of majority of the members, China has been blocking India’s membership. The country has been demanding a non-discriminatory solution applicable to all non-Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory countries.
Ryabkov added that India may also get a membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement, another multilateral technology group. The political committee of the 41-member Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies will meet in Vienna on Thursday, and is likely to decide on India’s membership. He said he hoped for some “positive action, fingers crossed.”
China, on the other hand, might seek India’s participation in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor during the upcoming RIC meet, The Hindu reported quoting sources.