NSG meeting on membership for India ends without any breakthrough

Vienna: The two-day meeting of Nuclear Suppliers Group that took place in Vienna to decide on the membership of India ended without making any headway. Now, India's membership to the 48-nation club is likely to be taken up at its June 20 meeting in Seoul.

Recently, US pulled all stops to strongly push India's case for a seat in NSG and it paid off also as several opponents softened their stand and appeared more willing to work towards a compromise. However, China still remains defiant and said that NSG should not relax specific criteria for new applicants.

Nuclear Suppliers Group controls access to sensitive nuclear technology. It seeks to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling the sale of items that can be used to make those arms. NSG was set up in response to India's first nuclear test in 1974.

India already enjoys various benefits of membership under the 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington, even though India has developed atomic weapons and never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the main global arms control pact. Earlier, President Barack Obama pledged US support for India for a seat in the NSG after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Agencies