Russia stays loyal to Ind, refuses to impose ENR restriction

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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Moscow, Jul 15: At a time when India's foreign policy is more US-oriented, its long-time ally Russia has come forward to assure that despite the new international restrictions on the transfer of sensitive nuclear technologies, the clean waiver it had granted to India will remain unaffected.

The official spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry has said that the new regulations will not apply to India - a NPT no-signatory. According to the new guidelines adopted by the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), sale of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology to NPT non-signatories has been banned.

In a statement posted on Russia's foreign ministry website, spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said, “The decision to strengthen 'sensitive" nuclear export controls adopted at an NSG plenary session in 2011 does not affect in any way the September 2008 decision of the Group to unfreeze peaceful nuclear cooperation with India."

He added, “We are ready to continue their effective implementation," and stated that Russia has been consistently trying to ensure India"s membership in the 45-member NSG.

Lukashevich said, “We have repeatedly raised the issue of establishing regular contacts between the NSG and India and create a mechanism to allow New Delhi to participate in the development of export control norms in the nuclear field."

He said that according to his country, nuclear cooperation with India is a “pivotal element in bilateral strategic partnership."

This comes after the June 20-24 NSG meeting in Noordwijk, Holland, where the new set of guidelines was accepted and then Russia had refused to say that India was exempted from the new ENR restrictions.

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