India Granted Membership of Wassenaar Arrangement


India has been admitted as the 42nd member of the Wassenaar Arrangement, a global export control regime. The group made the decision at its two-day plenary meeting in Vienna, which ended Thursday.

"If everything goes as expected".

According to the WA website, the goal of the Arrangement is to "promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies".

In June 2016, China had maintained that it opposes India's entry into the NSG, a group of nations seeking to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling access to sensitive technology.

Earlier this year, India approved SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technologies) items, mandatory under the Wassernaar Arrangement.

It aims to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists. 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.

He said other countries "who only speak", should also be more proactive in helping India enter the elite club.

The WA has 42 members, the latest entrant being India.

"The United States welcomes the successful conclusion of the #WassenaarArrangement plenary, which offered #India membership, agreed upon over 80 control list updates, & (and) exchanged views on #proliferation challenges", the U.S. mission to UN in Vienna tweeted.

China has, on several occasions, stone-walled India's bid for membership to the NSG. In July 2016, India formally became a member of a similar export control group, Missile Technology Control Regime, which meant easier purchases of high-end missile technology and state-of-the-art surveillance drones for the country.

Since its founding in 1996, the Arrangement has become an important component of the global nonproliferation regime, with member states exchanging information on their transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods to states outside of the arrangement.

Membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, another export control regime, 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 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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