New Delhi, June 27: India on Monday joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) marking first entry into any multilateral export control regime. India became a permanent member and joined the regime as the thirty-fifth nation to become the member. 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.
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 at New Delhi. Since its civil nuclear deal with the U.S., India has been trying to get into export control regimes like NSG, MTCR, the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement that regulate the conventional, nuclear, biological and chemicals weapons and technologies.
Foreign Ministry on behalf of Government thanked each of the thirty-four MTCR Partners for their support for India’s membership. The ministry greeted Ambassador of The Netherlands and Luxembourg, co-Chairs of the MTCR, for facilitating India’s accession to the regime. Government claimed that India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives.
The MTCR membership will 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.
The Missile Technology Control Regime is an informal and voluntary association of countries which share the goals of non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and which seek to coordinate national export licensing efforts aimed at preventing their proliferation. The MTCR was originally established in 1987 by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since that time, the number of MTCR partners has increased to a total of thirty-four countries, all of which have equal standing within the Regime.
After India joined the Hague Code of Conduct which deals with the ballistic missile non-proliferation arrangement earlier this month, The MTCR membership got a boost. India’s membership had been blocked in 2015 by Italy, which seemed to link it to the standoff over the detention of the Italian marines. With the return of the second marine, Salvatore Girone, to Rome on May 29, Italy is no longer blocking the consensus.
It comes as a big achievement after failing to get the membership of NSG (Nuclear suppliers Group) due to opposition by various nations. Significantly, China, which opposed India's entry into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group at the just-concluded Seoul plenary, is not a member of 34-nation MTCR.