India Joins Missile Technology Control Regime; China Not Yet Eligible

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MTCR chair at The Hague said India would enjoy participation in the activities of the club

In a boost to its non-proliferation credentials, India on Monday joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) at a ceremony in South Block, attended by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and diplomats from the Netherlands, France and Luxembourg missions.

The Ministry of External Affairs said India’s MTCR membership would help in “furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,” even as a statement from the MTCR chair at The Hague said India would enjoy “full participation in organisational activities, including the October 2016 plenary of the regime in South Korea.”

India had intensified efforts at gaining membership of the MTCR, the NSG, the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement since getting a waiver at the NSG in 2008.

Membership of these groups would help India trade more effectively in critical high tech areas.

What is MTCR?

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) established in April 1987 by the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the United States and Japan. The MTCR was created in order to curb the spread of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons, specifically delivery systems that could carry a minimum payload of 500 kg for a minimum of 300 km.

MTCR: Top five things to know

  • 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).
  • India’s efforts to get into the MTCR also got a boost after it agreed to join the Hague Code of Conduct, dealing with the ballistic missile non-proliferation arrangement, earlier this month.
  • 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.”
  • China, which stonewalled India’s entry into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the just-concluded Seoul plenary, is not a member of 34-nation MTCR.

congratulates the government of India in becoming part of the MTCR and thereby will play a significant role in accessing new war technology from other countries besides playing a key role in the prevention of proliferation of weapons that could bring about mass destruction.