India's MTCR membership - A done deal

8 Jun 2016 | Written by Ramya ; Edited by Gaurav

India is inching closer to gain entry into the first of four nuclear regimes it had been trying to enter.

The Missile Technology Control Regime is ready to accept India's membership in 2016.

Reportedly, the proposal circulated by MTCR Chairperson for India's admission to the 34-member regime didn't receive objections.

India's MTCR membership is nearly done as only 'formalities and protocol' are remaining now.

In context: India's entry into MTCR

IntroductionWhat is the MTCR?

The 'Missile Technology Control Regime' was formed by the G7 nations -Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, and the US in April 1987.

It was established to restrain the spread of unmanned nuclear weapon delivery systems, especially those systems that are capable of carrying a minimum of 500kg payload for at least 300 km.

It is a voluntary and informal partnership among nations.

Member Nations of the MTCR

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, and US etc are currently part of the MTCR.
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India formally applies for MTCR membership

India's ApplicationIndia formally applies for MTCR membership

In Jun'15, India had formally applied for MTCR membership; it was a part of India's efforts, which began after its 1998 nuclear tests, to integrate itself with the regime.

India had come a long way from being targeted and treated like an outsider, to becoming a partner of the same global community.

Experts stated that India's entry would benefit MTCR as well as India.

Italy's Italy blocks India's entry into MTCR

In October 2015, Italy had blocked India's admission to the MTCR in protest of the arrest of two Italian marines suspected of shooting Indian fishermen.

Italy's veto wasn't supported by any other nation, as it had defied US' ambition to get India into the club.

The decision to admit new nations had to be taken unanimously, which allowed Italy to block India's membership.

8 Jun 2016India's MTCR membership - A done deal

Mission almost accomplished

Former MTCR Chairperson-Roald Naess stated: "Mission almost accomplished. Only some procedural formalities remain before India becomes member of MTCR. We look forward now to India joining the annual plenary session in October 2016 in Seoul this year as a member."
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MTCR FormalitiesNext stage for India's membership

The MTCR Chairperson has now officially started the next stage-formalities for India's admission.

Each of MTCR's 34 members is required to send a 'diplomatic note' stating formally that they accept India's membership.

The procedure could take weeks or even months depending upon the internal processes of each nation.

India would receive the membership-related documents soon, which must be ratified and returned to the regime.

Italy no longer blocked India's entry

Last year, MTCR members felt that though Italy didn't mention it, the issue of Italian marines' arrest that blocked India's application. This year, Italy no longer blocked the consensus as the second arrested marine-Salvatore Girone returned to Rome on 29 May'16.

27 Jun 2016MTCR accepts India

The Missile Technology Control Regime has officially recognized and announced India's membership into the forum.

The Chair of the MTCR made the announcement from the Hague in Netherlands, saying "India is now the 35th member of the MTCR."

India's MEA said that "India's membership into the regime as the 35th member would be mutually beneficial for its international non-proliferation objectives."

19 Oct 2016India, Russia to develop 600 km cruise missiles

India and Russia have agreed to jointly produce a new generation of Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles with improved accuracy and a range of over 600 km.

The missiles will have the ability to hit targets anywhere inside Pakistan.

India's entry into the MTCR regime has allowed this development to take place as non-MTCR countries cannot jointly develop missiles with over 300 km range.