India may become a part of the coveted MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) as early as next week.
India may become a part of the coveted MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) as early as next week. This leg-up for India comes even as PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government failed to bag enough support for the country for membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar may sign the instrument of accession into MTCR as early as on Monday, reported Indian Express. The ceremony will be attended by the MTCR chair troika — envoys from France, Netherlands and Luxembourg, the report said.
India’s imminent entry into MTCR is being seen as a diplomatic victory of PM Narendra Modi. India had applied for the MTCR membership last year and its application was under consideration as part of a “silent procedure” which ended without any objection from any country.
Why MTCR entry is important
Admission to the MTCR would open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology, also making more realistic its aspiration to buy surveillance drones such as the Predator, made by General Atomics.
Membership of the MTCR would require India to comply with rules such as a maximum missile range of 300 km (186 miles) that seek to prevent arms races from developing.
India makes the “world’s fastest” supersonic cruise missile, the Brahmos, in a joint venture with Russia that both countries hope to sell to third countries, a development that would make India a significant arms exporter for the first time.
Meanwhile, India and Russia have agreed ‘in principle’ to export the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, BrahMos, to UAE, Vietnam, South Africa and Chile. Talks with countries like UAE, Chile, South Africa and Vietnam are in advanced stages, suggested an FE report last month.
MTCR’s current partners are; Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, US.
Earlier this month, India joined HCoC (Hague Code of Conduct) against ballistic missile proliferation regime but made it clear that it will not have any impact on the national security as well as country’s missile programmes.
The HCoC is a voluntary, legally non-binding international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
(With inputs from Agencies)