Wassenaar entry will help in getting defence, space tech: India

SansadTV Bureau
File Photo: External Affairs Ministry (MEA) spokesman Raveesh Kumar addressing media.

File Photo: External Affairs Ministry (MEA) spokesman Raveesh Kumar addressing media.

India Friday said  that the necessary procedural norms for its admission to the Wassenaar Arrangement will be completed shortly and the membership will facilitate high-technology tie-ups for country’s defence and space programmes.

The remarks by external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar came a day after the elite export control regime WA announced its decision to admit India as its new member.

India will become the Arrangement’s 42nd participating state.

India’s entry into the export control regime would enhance its credentials in the field of non-proliferation despite not being a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

When asked if the WA membership will help in India getting into other export control regimes, including the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Kumar said there was no direct link between the two but it will confirm India’s impeccable non-proliferation credentials.

The plenary meeting of WA held on December 6-7 in Vienna decided to admit India and the necessary procedural arrangements for India’s admission will be completed shortly, Kumar said.

“India’s WA membership is expected to facilitate high technology tie-ups with Indian industry and ease access to high-tech items for our defence and space programmes,” he said.

While membership of WA would not automatically entail any preferential treatment from other member nations, it would create the grounds for realignment of India in the export control policy framework of other WA members including eligibility for certain licensing exceptions, the spokesperson added.

“India’s entry into the Arrangement would be mutually beneficial and further contribute to international security and non-proliferation objectives,” Kumar said.

Significantly, China, which stonewalled India’s entry into the NSG, is not a member of the WA.

The Wassenaar Arrangement plays a significant role in promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

Its member countries are required to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals. The aim is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.

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