China Says No Change in Its Stand on India's Membership to NSG

Ka-226 is seen during field emergency removal training exercises involving Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry and Interior Ministry units

Speaking to China at 'all levels' to include India into the Nuclear Supplies Group: Russia

India'a membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies comes more than a year after becoming member of the Missile Technologies Control Regime (MTCR).

Russian Federation is speaking to China at "all levels" for India's membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and hopes that India will win membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement, another multilateral technology regime India has applied to, Russia's deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said here on Wednesday.

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..."

"If everything goes as expected". China has favoured a criteria-based approach for expansion of the 48-member group, which controls worldwide nuclear commerce.

Earlier this year, India approved SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technologies) items, mandatory under the Wassernaar Arrangement. "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. 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.

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

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In 2016, China led the opposition to a push by the United States to bring India into the NSG which aims to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation by stopping the sale of items that can be used to make nuclear arms. India is already a member of the Missile Control Technology Regime (MTCR).

"Beijing has been maintaining that the NSG should first "explore" through "an open and transparent" process and reach agreement on a non-discriminatory formula" to deal with the issue of granting membership to the countries, which had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

India on Thursday became a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement, that controls the global trade of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies.

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.

Chinas repeated stonewalling of India's membership bid in the NSG has become a major stumbling block in bilateral relations.

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