India most likely to become member of Wassenaar Arrangement, claims Russian leader

Russia deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov

The 41-member Wassenaar Arrangement is an important export control regime for conventional arms and dual-use technologies.

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. "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.

Membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement 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 NPT, said an official.

"Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) participating states reviewed progress of a number of current membership applications and agreed at the plenary meeting to admit India which will become the arrangement's 42 participating state as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining the WA are completed", the grouping said in a statement. Through the revised list of items, India also seeks to send a message about its larger commitment to non-proliferation.

India is a member of MTCR while it is yet to gain entry into the Australia Group and the NSG, where country's bid has been repetitively stonewalled by a small group led by China.

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.

He said other countries "who only speak", should also be more proactive in helping India enter the elite club. Its opposition has made India's entry into the group hard as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.

In a statement that clearly reflects the stature of India in global community, Russian Federation expressed confidence that India is likely to get the membership of the Wassenaar arrangement.

"China's position on this remains unchanged", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media here responding to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov's remarks in New Delhi yesterday that Moscow was speaking to China for India's membership into the NSG.

For years, India has been trying to gain entry into all the four regimes that govern trade of potentially risky technologies.

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