Moscow/Delhi: Russia sent out conflicting signals over its support for India with respect to recently amended Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines for export of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technologies to nations that are not signatories of the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Even as a Russian foreign ministry spokesman hedged his responses in Moscow, Russian embassy officials here in Delhi were more forthcoming about their support.
In Moscow, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman refused to provide a clear response to a query whether India was affected by the ban on export of ENR technologies approved by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at its meeting on 24 June in the Netherlands. ''We do not think it proper to publicly discuss individual countries,'' foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Wednesday.
The question from Indian daily The Hindu specifically sought a response if the NSG ban was effective only against North Korea and Iran or targeted against India as well.
Having dodged a direct response, Lukashevich put on record the fact that the new NSG guidelines were already incorporated in Russian legislation through a government decree adopted in December 2009 in compliance with the G8's 2008 ban on the sale of ENR equipment.
The Russian government decree (#992) of 4 December 2009 allowed export of ENR equipment and technologies only to countries that are signatories to the NPT. In line with the G8 practice, the Russian decree was valid for 12 months and was renewed in December 2010 following the G8 reiteration of its ban earlier last year.
Having stated Russian adherence to G8 norms, Lukashevich then took the trouble to clarify that Russia had worked consistently to push through the 2008 NSG waver for India and strongly supported India's bid to join the NSG.