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Negotiations with NSG were badly conducted: Srinivasan

Former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, M.R. Srinivasan said that the government could have handled the negotiations with the NSG over its membership much better.

His remarks over a phone interview with The Hindu came after the 26th NSG plenary held in Seoul ended without any decision on India’s application towards membership in the 48-nation grouping.

The public positions of naysayers in the NSG were well-known, he said.

Countries such as China had insisted on NPT signatory status for NSG membership and others, which included countries with barely any reliance on nuclear energy, spoke of a process to evaluate membership for non-NPT countries in Seoul.

The Indian expectation that an isolated China (among the 48 countries) would have come around to accepting India’s case for membership therefore came up short as India staked too much on the acceptance of other countries in the group. He said that the diplomatic moves in the run-up to the plenary were akin to a “badly played game of cards where we showed our poker hands”. Dr. Srinivasan said that India’s application towards a NSG membership was legitimate as our record in non-proliferation, export control and nuclear safeguards was impeccable. Convincing the members of the NSG should be done over the long haul, he said.

In the short term, a lack of NSG membership will not hamper the civil nuclear energy operations in the country, he said.

After getting an one-time NSG waiver in 2008, India had successfully concluded bilateral nuclear trade agreements with the U.S., Russia, France among others and also had trade arrangements with nuclear fuel supplier-nations such as Kazakhstan, Australia and others.


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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:52:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Negotiations-with-NSG-were-badly-conducted-Srinivasan/article14401696.ece

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