India joins global initiative to prevent ballistic missile proliferation

India has joined a global ballistic missile anti-proliferation regime just days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States and other countries, mainly aimed at winning support for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters that India joined the Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC) against Ballistic Missile Proliferation on Thursday. “India has joined the Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC) against Ballistic Missile Proliferation by notifying the HCoC Central Contact in Vienna through diplomatic channels,” Swarup said.
The MEA spokesperson, however, categorically stated that the move would have no impact on national security as well as the country’s ballistic missile programme.
“Our national security interest will not be impacted in any manner, whatsoever, by joining HCoC,” Swarup said in response to a question whether India would have to shelve its Agni missile programme after joining HCoC.
He further stated that India’s bid to enter the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) was “on track” and that New Delhi could be granted membership “soon”.
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.
“India s joining the Code signals our readiness to further strengthen global non-proliferation objectives,” the spokesperson added.
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.”
He also added that the country was in discussion with other control regimes like Wassenaar Arrangement for the membership.

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