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In 2008 the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the apex body that controls global nuclear commerce, granted India a waiver on the transferal of sensitive nuclear technologies despite the fact that India is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), opened for signature in 1968.
Even though India had not opened up all of its nuclear reactors for international scrutiny, the NSG waivers made India an exception, allowing New Delhi to buy nuclear power plants, equipment and technology on the international market, The Hindu Online reported.
Now, as new NSG adopted last month guidelines propose that technology transfers be allowed only if the recipient state fulfils certain criteria, including NPT membership, India’s 2008 arrangement with the NSG could be at risk.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alekhsandr Lukashevich said that the new NSG banning the sale of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology to non-NPT signatories would not apply to India, noting in a statement posted on the Ministry’s website, "The decision to strengthen 'sensitive' nuclear export controls adopted at an NSG plenary session in 2011 does not affect in any way the September 2008 decision of the Group to unfreeze peaceful nuclear cooperation with India."
The Russian statement is a thinly veiled attempt to preserve its market share in India, as the 2008 NSG waiver was strongly promoted by the U.S., with which India worked out a significant bilateral pact the same year that opened the doors for the sale of U.S. nuclear power plants to India.
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com