India set to become ...
happen as early as on Monday, in a ceremony to be attended by the MTCR chair troika — envoys from France, Netherlands and Luxembourg. The MTCR chair troika comprises the past, incumbent and future chair of the group.
“Membership of one export control regime can be reinforcing on others, since India’s credentials are vetted in one and the remaining three can follow the example,” said an Indian official.
India’s efforts to become a member of the MTCR began after the Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008. New Delhi has been keen to become a member of the four export control regimes — MTCR, NSG, Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement. But with the nuclear deal stuck over liability issues, New Delhi’s bid to become a member of MTCR only gained momentum from April 2015, after the liability issue was resolved and the US lent its full support.
The members of this international non-proliferation regime agreed to admit India early this month, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.
Admission to MTCR will 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.
After becoming a member of the MTCR, India can hold the key to blocking China’s membership in the future — a leverage, many feel, could be used to get Beijing to lift its objections to India’s membership to the NSG.
Established in April 1987 by G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain and the US), the MTCR is an informal and voluntary partnership to prevent proliferation of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying a 500-kg payload over 300 km or more.—INP