India’s NSG Entry: Russia Trying To Convince China

With the Sino-Indian relations heading for the freezer, “common friend” Russia has decided to make an attempt to normalise ties between the two Asian powerhouses.
In recent times, China has strengthened ties with Pakistan and other South Asian countries in order to corner India in the Indian Ocean Region (which is considered as India’s own backyard). Beijing also opposed India’s NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) membership bid, making clear that it would never accept its southern neighbour as a “global power”. After Beijing refused to take Indian security concerns seriously, New Delhi decided to take the Chinese challenge head-on and bolstered ties with major Asian powers, like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The growing conflicts of interest between India and China have triggered a diplomatic war between the two countries and prompted Russia to play the role of a mediator.
Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Disarmament Division Mikhail Ulyanov, who is currently in New Delhi, said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin wants China and India to normalise ties through peaceful negotiation. He expressed serious concern over deteriorating Sino-Indian ties, saying that it would be important for Russia, India and China to co-operate with each other. Otherwise, it will be easier for the US and its European partners to dictate terms on various global issues, said the Russian official.
As far as India’s NSG membership bid is concerned, Ulyanov stressed that Kremlin was negotiating with China as the Putin Administration was eager to facilitate India’s entry into the coveted Group. He further said that the main purpose of his ongoing visit is to discuss various aspects of India’s membership bid with the top political leadership in New Delhi.
Speaking at a press conference in the Indian capital, Ulyanov said that the Sino-Indian rivalry prompted President Putin to send him to New Delhi. “In 2010, there was high level commitment by Russia to support India’s case in NSG. We remain committed to that. Moscow is talking with interlocutors in Beijing to narrow down their differences with Delhi to ensure entry. We are aware of contradictions between India and China on the issue. China is raising questions on the procedures to be followed for India’s entry,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Ulyanov urged China to allow India to become the 49th member of the elite club, saying that although India is yet to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), its past record as a nuclear power is good. India’s entry into the club will further its peaceful nuclear energy projects, he added. “Russia is an NPT signatory. It respects India’s position on the regime. The Russian representatives in all arms control and nuclear regimes have been instructed to support India’s entry into NSG,” stressed the visiting Russian official.
Ulyanov expressed hope that China would trust Russia and accept India’s entry into the NSG. “Over the years, India and Russia have had similar positions on major global non-proliferation issues. India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) last year opened up further areas of bilateral co-operation. Russia will give due consideration to any ideas or proposals that India puts forward for co-operation under MTCR,” he insisted.
Ulyanov believes that China will make a mistake, if it tries to prevent India’s entry into the group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

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