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Nuclear MoU with Russia in jeopardy over India’s NSG push

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Nuclear MoU with Russia in jeopardy over India's NSG push

In a push to gain support for its membership to the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), India has reportedly warned Russia of stalling co-operation between the two countries for developing the Kudankulam 5 and 6 reactor units.

The development comes after India and Russia reviewed their bilateral cooperation last week ahead of the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 1.

According to the report, India has threatened to put on hold an MoU with Russia for developing the Kudankulam reactor units, prompting Moscow to think that New Delhi wants them to work more proactively for India’s NSG membership.

The MoU was reportedly supposed to have been signed on the sidelines of the Brics summit in Goa last year. India is believed to have conveyed that without becoming a full member of NSG, India would have to instead opt for an indigenous nuclear energy programme. Hence, it reportedly wanted Russia to convince China to let go of its opposition to India’s NSG membership.

In August 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had jointly dedicated to the nation the 1,000 MW Nuclear Power Plant-I, assuring it was one of the safest atomic plants in the world.

Last week, during a meeting to prepare for the summit between the countries, Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin also took up the issue with the Modi, but did not get any assurance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Russia in June to attend St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), where India has been invited as a ‘Guest Country’.

Last year, voicing its concern over India’s nuclear capabilities, Pakistan called on the member states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to make a well-considered decision over including India, keeping in view the long-term implications for the global non-proliferation regime as well as strategic stability in the region

China has repeatedly blocked India’s MSG membership bid despite support from majority of NSG members, on the grounds that New Delhi hasn’t signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT).

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Category: India

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