In its first entry into any multilateral export control regime, India is all set to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on Monday as a full member, three days after it failed to get NSG membership due to stiff opposition from China and a few other countries.
“We applied for the membership of MTCR last year and all the procedural formalities have been completed. Tomorrow, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will sign the document of accession into MTCR in the presence of Ambassadors of France, Netherlands and Luxembourg,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Significantly, 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.
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 case in MTCR was opposed last year by Italy which is not happy with New Delhi over the marines dispute. However, after both marines, accused of murdering two fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012, were allowed to return, the Italians have softened their opposition.
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.
MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia.
The aim of the MTCR is to restrict 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).