India expects nations to honour N-deal commitments



New Delhi: India was on Wednesday unperturbed by Nuclear Suppliers Group's decision to strengthen guidelines on enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology transfer, saying it expected its bilateral agreements on full implementation of nuclear deals to be fully honoured without any pre-conditions.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna asserted in the Lok Sabha that the 46-nation NSG had granted "clean" exemption to India "knowing fully well" that it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and hoped the international atomic order will "continue to evolve in India's favour".

He also underlined that India has "full mastery" of the entire nuclear fuel cycle, including ENR technology and that its transfer has "no bearing" on India's upfront entitlement to reprocess foreign origin spent fuel and the use of such fuel in India's own safeguard facilities.

"We are absolutely clear that as far as India is concerned, the basis of our international civil nuclear cooperation remains as contained in the special exemption from the NSG guidelines given to India on September 6, 2008," Krishna said in a suo motu statement laid on the table.

Seeking to allay members' concerns over the issue after NSG's decision in June to strengthen guidelines on ENR technology transfer, he said, "As far as we are concerned, the September 2008 decision is the basis and overarching framework that governs cooperation in civil nuclear matters between India and the NSG."

Noting that the issue is the "full implementation of that understanding", he said, "This is what we expect and our major partners are committed to."

PTI