India today joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as a full member and said its entry would be mutually beneficial to enhance global non-proliferation norms.
India had firmed up its claim to MTCR by joining The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) earlier this summer.
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, the sources said, “Italy is no longer blocking the consensus.”
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.
Since its civil nuclear deal with the US, 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.
MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia.
India’s efforts to get into the MTCR also got a boost after it agreed to join the Hague Code of Conduct, dealing with the ballistic missile non-proliferation arrangement, earlier this month.
“As all formal procedures for membership have now been finalised, the Chairman of the joint Netherlands-Luxembourg Chairmanship of the Missile Technology Control Regime, Ambassador Piet de Klerk (NL), in close consultation with the French MTCR Point of Contact, is pleased to announce today that the Republic of India now formally is the 35th member of the Regime,” said an official statement issued by the Chair of the MTCR from The Hague, Netherlands.
The declaration came within minutes of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar attending a brief official ceremony at the South Block which was attended by the ambassadors of Netherlands, Luxembourg and the ambassador-designate of France.
“India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement after the ceremony.