India on Thursday joined a global regime to control proliferation of ballistic missiles but the move would not have any impact on national security as well as the missile programme of the country.
The decision came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US from June 7 and the plenary of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) this week. India has been seeking US support in getting members to various export-control regimes such as the NSG and MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime).
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India has joined the Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC) against Ballistic Missile Proliferation by notifying the HCoC Central Contact in Vienna through diplomatic channels.
The HCoC is a voluntary, legally non-binding international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
When asked if the decision will effectively mean that country has to shelve its Agni missile programme, he said, “Our national security interest will not be impacted in any manner, whatsoever, by joining HCoC.” He said India joining the Code signals our readiness to further strengthen global non-proliferation objectives.
Asked about India’s bid to become member of nuclear control regimes, Swarup said, “As far as MTCR is concerned, our application is on track and well-received and we expect that process of India’s membership would be completed soon.”