Talks underway for India's entry into Wassenaar Arrangement

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Even as Beijing is persistently blocking New Delhi's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement another multilateral export control regime seems set to open up its doors for India. "We make this point in the contacts with the Chinese at different levels, and India should be confident of Russia's assistance".

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who was in India for the foreign office consultations, described India's non-proliferation record as "impeccable".

India is likely to get the membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement, one of the key export control regimes that deals with non-proliferation, if everything goes well at the plenary session onThursday, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Wednesday.

Membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement would give India a chance for a closer interaction with member-states and also hold up its credentials, despite not being a signatory to the NPT, said an official.

"We recognise that at the moment there is no unanimity on Pakistan's application and that the same can not be interlinked with India's", said Ryabkov, after his meeting with Jaishankar. The positive action could be taken tomorrow, fingers crossed.

India is a member of MTCR while it is yet to gain entry into the Australia Group and the NSG, where country's bid has been repetitively stonewalled by a small group led by China.

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Ryabkov said Russian Federation has been "very straightforward" and "vocal" in supporting India in its endeavour of getting NSG membership because of the country's "impeccable and impressive record" in the area of non-proliferation. Without naming anyone, Ryabkov said that unlike other countries that only speak of support, Russian Federation takes the first to help and actions speak more than words.

In June past year, India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), another key export control regime, as a full member.

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

India has applied for membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement with the secretariat of the group, which is located in Vienna, Austria.

The MTCR admitted India as a member in June 2016.

"So, I don't think it will possible to interlink the application of India and Pakistan for becoming members of the NSG", he said.

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