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

Russia deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov

The two-day plenary session of the 41-member club commenced today. "This is an example and reflection of Russia's unwavering support to India's membership of global export control regimes", Ryabkov told journalists.

About Indian application for the membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Ryabkjov said that India's application can not be "interlinked" with that of Pakistan and that Moscow is discussing the issue with Beijing at different levels.

"We recognise that at the moment there is no unanimity on Pakistan's application and that the same can not be interlinked with India's", said Ryabkov, after his meeting with Jaishankar. "I keep my fingers crossed. then tomorrow we may see a decision of accepting India into the Wassenaar Arrangement, which is also very important export control regime", he said.

Ryabkov said Russian Federation has been "very straightforward" and "vocal" in supporting India in its endeavour of getting NSG membership because of the country's "impeccable and impressive record" in the area of non-proliferation. "So the only way forward is to make sure that the Indian case is addressed fully and everyone is convinced that there can be no question put before the issue of the NSG membership of India", he said.

In June 2016, China had maintained that it opposes India's entry into the NSG, a group of nations seeking to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling access to sensitive technology.

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India is a member of the 35-member missile technology control regime or MTCR, which it joined previous year.

China is neither the member of the Wassenaar Arrangement nor the MTCR and the Australia Group.

The United States, which has a nuclear cooperation deal with India, considers it a nuclear power that plays by the rules and is not a proliferator, and wants to bring Asia's third largest economy into the 48-member group.

According to Indian media reports, the issue came up for discussion on Wednesday as Sergei Ryabkov met Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

"We recognize the fact there is for the moment no prospect for any unanimity with respect to the Pakistani application".

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