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Russia silent on whether NSG ban will cover India

Vladimir Radyuhin

It is not proper to publicly discuss individual countries, says spokesman

MOSCOW: Moscow appears to confirm New Delhi's concerns that India is not being exempted from new restrictions on supply of uranium enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) equipment to countries which are outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

An official spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday refused to say whether India was affected by the ban on export of ENR technologies approved by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at its meeting on June 24 in the Netherlands.

“We do not think it proper to publicly discuss individual countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said, responding to a direct question from The Hindu whether the NSG ban was effective only against North Korea and Iran or it targeted India as well.

Mr. Lukashevich said the new NSG guidelines were already incorporated in the Russian legislation through a government decree adopted on December 4, 2009 in compliance with the Group of Eight's 2008 ban on the sale of ENR equipment.

Decree #992 allowed export of ENR equipment and technologies only to countries that are NPT signatories.

In line with the G8 practice, the Russian decree was valid for 12 months and was renewed in December 2010 following the G8 reiteration of the ban earlier last year.

Backs India's bid

to join NSG

At the same time, Mr. Lukashevich stressed that Russia had consistently worked to push through the 2008 NSG waiver for India and strongly supported its bid to join the NSG.

“We are determined to do our best to facilitate India getting full membership in NSG,” he said.

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