New Delhi: India on Monday joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as a full member, of which China awaits membership.
It's a major boost for the Modi regime, especially after a setback on the issue of membership into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Marking India's first entry into any multilateral export control regime, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the instrument of accession to MTCR in the presence of France's Ambassador-designate Alexandre Ziegler, The Netherlands' Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and Luxembourg's Chargé d'Affaires Laure Huberty
"India has joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) this morning. The MTCR Point of Contact in Paris has conveyed the decision regarding India’s accession to the regime through the Embassy of France in New Delhi as well as the Embassies of The Netherlands and Luxembourg," the Ministry of External Affairs said.
India first applied for the membership in 2008 and China in 2004.
Significantly, China, which stonewalled India's entry into the 48-nation NSG at the just- concluded Seoul plenary, is not a member of 34-nation MTCR.
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.
Swaruo said "this week alone", India got membership into SCO and on Monday "we are going to become full members of MTCR".
"As I said, there are some processes which take longer (time). I will evaluate the NSG membership process in that catageory," he said.
MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia.
The MTCR seeks to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500kg payload for at least 300 km.
Official sources said NSG is likely to meet again before the end of the year to discuss membership of non-NPT signatories like India.
On Friday, India had failed to seek entry into the NSG at the plenary meet in Seoul primarily due to technical objections raised by China.
Much to India`s discomfort, China`s objections also got support from a few other members like South Africa, Norway, Brazil, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Turkey.