Wassenaar Arrangement Admits India as Its 42nd Member

Russian relations with China and Pakistan are valuable and not to the detriment of India's interests says Sergei Ryabkov

Russian relations with China and Pakistan are valuable and not to the detriment of India's interests says Sergei Ryabkov

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.

India was made the 42nd member of the grouping, at its two-day plenary in Vienna. China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls global nuclear commerce.

"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.

India "will become the Arrangement's 42nd participating state as soon as the necessary procedural arrangements for joining the WA are completed", Wassenaar Arrangement said in a statement.

"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. Through the revised list of items, India also seeks to send a message about its larger commitment to non-proliferation. "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.

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

India has also applied for membership in the Australia Group, an informal export control grouping concerned with the nonproliferation of chemical and biological weapons.

The Wassenaar Arrangement regulates trade in conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

India's admission to the Wassenaar Arrangement was in part facilitated by China's nonparticipation in the Arrangement.

China, a key member of the NSG, has been stridently opposing India's bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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.

"China's position on this remains unchanged", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here responding to Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkovs remarks in New Delhi that Moscow was speaking to China for India's membership into the NSG.

On Pakistan's entry to the NSG, Ryabkov said there is no prospect for any "unanimity" with respect to the Pakistani application.

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