Modi’s Tashkent visit may hold key to India’s NSG entry

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

PM to meet Putin on June 23 at SCO summit

Russia may once again prove to be India’s friend in need. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to cajole China into supporting its bid for the high sit at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).

Apparently, President Putin has assured Prime Minister Modi that Russia will be able to coax China and Kazakhstan to allow India’s entry into the 48-member exclusive club.

“The discussion focused on practical issues of the two countries’ cooperation, including preparations for the top level contacts to be held shortly. The leaders reaffirmed their determination to further bilateral relations, which are a privileged strategic partnership,” stated the Kremlin in a statement.

The phone call was made on June 11. Modi will be meeting Putin on June 23 in Tashkent at the SCO Summit. On June 24, the NSG at its plenary meeting in Seoul will be finalising its decision on India’s application.

At the summit, Modi may also have a separate bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, sources told BusinessLine.

Sources indicated that Russia has “assured” India that it will be use all its diplomatic efforts into changing China its mind. Apparently, India is also pushing for Modi’s meeting with both Putin and Xi during the SCO Summit.

China had opposed to India’s NSG bid during the last meeting of the body in Vienna last week. According to China, India should first be a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to be eligible to become member of the NSG.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had also requested all member countries of the NSG to “not to block consensus on Indian admission.”

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday stated all countries to have “extensive discussion” in Seoul on inclusion of new members in the NSG.

Published on June 13, 2016

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