India Joins Weapons Control Regime Wassenaar Arrangement

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China argued that if the "NPT signatory" criterion was diluted to admit India into the NSG, it should also open up the door for other "non-NPT" countries, including Pakistan.

Taking a dig at the United States for not pushing China to remove its objections to India's membership at the NSG as Russian Federation had, Mr. Ryabkov said, "Unlike some other countries that only speak of support, Russian Federation takes actual steps to help and actions speak more than words..."

China, which is not a member of WA, has stonewalled India's entry into the NSG.

"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.

India has been eyeing membership of all leading export control regimes including the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.

"This is an example and reflection of Russia's unwavering support to India's membership of global 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. Membership in the group is by consensus.

"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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Pakistan's application came despite serious allegation of proliferation of nuclear technology by its scientist A. Q. Khan.

Formally known as the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, the organization is created to regulate the export of sensitive technologies that could possibly lead to "destabilizing accumulations", according to its guidelines. 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.

He said the focus is on some non-NPT countries who hope to join the group in the capacity of nuclear weapons free countries.

India's admission to the Arrangement is not predicated on this requirement; New Delhi has never signed the NPT and has sought to burnish its nonproliferation credentials through its behavior and policies since its nuclear breakout in 1998.

"On this we will further discuss application of non-contracting parties", Geng said.

In a statement, the group confirmed India's entry after its twenty-third plenary meeting in Vienna. At the same time they will exchange views on global issues of common concern.

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