(From left) India foreign secretary S. Jaishankar receives MTCR membership papers from France ambassador-designate Alexandre Ziegler, Netherlands ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and Luxembourg's Charge d’Affaires Laure Huberty, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: PTI
(From left) India foreign secretary S. Jaishankar receives MTCR membership papers from France ambassador-designate Alexandre Ziegler, Netherlands ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and Luxembourg's Charge d’Affaires Laure Huberty, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: PTI

After failed NSG bid, India joins Missile Technology Control Regime

The MTCR membership will help India buy sophisticated missile tech and boost its JVs with Russia and source drones from the US

New Delhi: India on Monday joined the multilateral export control group, Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), as a full member, days after its attempt to be part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) failed thanks to stiff opposition from China and a few other countries.

On Monday, foreign secretary S. Jaishankar signed the document of accession into MTCR in the presence of the ambassadors of France, Netherlands and Luxembourg, in New Delhi, Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“India has joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) this (Monday) morning. 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 foreign ministry statement said.

“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, for facilitating India’s accession to the regime. India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives," the statement said.

India had applied for membership last year and the grouping earlier this month agreed on India’s entry into the bloc with none of the 34 members voicing any objection.

Last year, Italy had objected to India’s application, unhappy as it was with New Delhi’s stance over the dispute over the detention of two Italian Marines.

The two marines, accused of murdering two fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012, were allowed to return home and Italy has since dropped its objections.

China, which thwarted India’s entry into the 48-nation NSG at the just-concluded Seoul plenary, is not a member of MTCR.

Since it concluded its civil nuclear deal with the US in 2008, India has been trying to get admission into export control regimes such as the NSG, MTCR, Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and technologies.

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.

The MTCR membership will enable India to buy sophisticated missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia. India is also looking to source drones from the US.

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 500kg payload for at least 300km, as well as systems intended for the delivery of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

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