India on Monday joined the Missile Technology Control Regime as a full member and said its entry would be mutually beneficial to enhance global non-proliferation norms.
Marking India's first entry into any multilateral export control regime, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the instrument of accession to MTCR in the presence of France's Ambassador-designate Alexandre Ziegler, the Netherlands' Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and Luxembourg's Chargé d'Affaires Laure Huberty.
'India has joined the MTCR this morning...India's entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,' the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
‘India would like to thank each of the thirty-four MTCR partners for their support for India's membership. We would also like to thank Ambassador Pieter de Klerk of The Netherlands and Robert Steinmetz of Luxembourg, co-Chairs of the MTCR,’ the statement said.
The MTCR point of contact in Paris has conveyed the decision regarding India's accession to the regime through the French Embassy in New Delhi as well as the Embassies of The Netherlands and Luxembourg, it said.
India's entry into the MTCR comes days after it failed to get Nuclear Suppliers Group membership due to stiff opposition from China and a few other countries.
Significantly, China, which stonewalled India's entry into the 48-nation NSG at the recently concluded Seoul plenary, is not a member of MTCR.
Since its civil nuclear deal with the US, India has been trying to get into export control regimes like the NSG, the MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemicals weapons and technologies.
MTCR membership will now 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.
France welcomes India’s accession to MTCR
France, a strong backer of India’s membership to the multi-lateral export control regimes including Nuclear Suppliers Group, on Monday welcomed India’s accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime.
“France welcomes India’s commitment to combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. As of 27 June, India is participating in the MTCR.
“France has actively supported its adherence, towards which we have worked jointly. India’s adherence will contribute to better regulating the proliferation of equipment that could be used in missiles or drones capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
France had also supported India’s case in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and had asked its members to “positively” decide on its membership application.