New Delhi: The External Affairs Ministry today said the decision to ratify the additional safety protocol was in works for "quite some time" and should not be linked to any future "decision and programmes".
The MEA clarification assumes significance in the backdrop of reports that the government`s decision to ratify the additional protocol to Indian specific safeguard agreement was timed intentionally ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s scheduled visit to Washington to meet President Barack Obama in September.
The Spokesperson in the MEA said the Protocol Additional to the Agreement between the government of India and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the application of safeguards to civilian nuclear facilities was signed on May 15, 2009 after approval by the Cabinet and the ratification comes nearly after five years.
He also mentioned that such protocols have been signed and ratified by a large number of states including other states with advanced nuclear capabilities such as China, France, the US, Russia and the UK.
According to Article 9 of India`s Additional Protocol it will enter into force once India notifies in writing to the IAEA that statutory and constitutional requirements for entry into force have been completed, he said.
"These requirements have recently been completed with the President signing the Instrument of Ratification for the additional Protocol. The Protocol will enter into force once the instrument of ratification is conveyed by our Mission in Vienna to the IAEA," the Spokesperson said.
He said an India-specific safeguards agreement was negotiated with the IAEA and signed on February 2, 2009 for the civilian facilities which India has voluntarily identified for application of IAEA safeguards and the additional protocol merely facilitates the implementation of the IAEA safeguards as per India`s safeguards agreement.
The Spokesperson added, "The ratification of the Protocol in line with India`s international commitments has been in process for a while and was consistent with India`s national interests as a responsible nuclear weapons state and allows us to continue to build civil nuclear cooperation with our partners in the international community."