Three days after failing to get NSG membership, India on Monday joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as a full member. India couldn’t make it to NSG membership owing to stiff opposition from China and a few other countries.
“The MTCR Point of Contact in Paris has conveyed the decision regarding India’s accession to the regime through the Embassy of France in New Delhi as well as the Embassies of The Netherlands and Luxembourg,” a government release said.
Since its civil nuclear deal with the US, India has been trying to get into export control regimes like NSG, MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemicals weapons and technologies.
“India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,” it added.
China has managed to stonewall India’s entry into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the just-concluded Seoul plenary. However, the dragon country is not a member of 34-nation MTCR. India’s membership had been blocked in 2015 by Italy, which seemed to link it to the standoff over the detention of the Italian marines. With the return of the second marine, Salvatore Girone, to Rome on May 29, the sources said, “Italy is no longer blocking the consensus.”
After the MTCR membership, in practice, India will not automatically gain access to missile or UAV technology by dint of its membership in the regime itself
India in 2015 applied for the membership of MTCR and completed all the procedural formalities. A day before, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will sign the document of accession into MTCR in the presence of ambassadors of France, Netherlands and Luxembourg.”
* MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia.
* MTCR aims at restricting the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogramme payload for at least 300 kilometres, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).