Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Monday signed the instrument of accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in the presence of the ambassadors of France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in Paris.
The MTCR is an informal and voluntary partnership, established in April 1987 by the G7 countries. It aims to prevent proliferation of technology pertaining to missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capable of carrying a 500-kg payload over 300 km or more.
Significantly, the MTCR is not a treaty and does not impose any legally binding obligations on its members. India’s membership of the MTCR is unlikely to provide a direct or significant boost to its missile export prospects. It will not enjoy instant and automatic access to missile or UAV technology with its entry into the regime. However, with time and betterment of export policies, MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with supporter countries like Russia. India can also get its hands on armed drones, considering the -India defence engagement.
In 2005 Italy had blocked India’s membership over the standoff between the two countries on the detention of the two Italian marines charged with killing two Indian fishermen in 2012. With both marines having been allowed to return to Italy since, Italy stopped blocking India’s membership.
By Abhishek Chaturvedi.