This article originally appeared in Global Security Newswire, produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group whose mission is preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
The U.S. said it still completely backs its civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with India and intends to honor every obligation made during President Obama's trip to New Delhi late last year, Asian News International reported on Saturday.
The 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008 granted a special exception enabling its members to engage in civilian atomic trade with India, even though the nuclear-armed South Asian state has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Last month, though, the organization acted to prohibit the export of nuclear fuel enrichment and reprocessing systems to countries outside the treaty.
“The Obama administration remains fully committed to the civil nuclear deal and to all of the commitments that were made during the president’s visit in November,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said.
“The Obama administration fully supports the so-called clean Nuclear Suppliers Group exception for India and the speedy implementation of our bilateral nuclear cooperation. Nothing about the new enrichment and reprocessing transfer restrictions that were recently agreed to by the NSG members will in any way detract from our existing nuclear cooperation," he said.
“We’ve done a lot since the president’s highly successful trip. As part of our commitment to treat India as a nonproliferation partner we delisted [India's Defense Research and Development Organization and the Indian Space Research Organization] from the Commerce Department’s Entities List. We removed India from most unilateral license requirements and have worked hard with India on its membership in the four arms-control regimes. We have conducted regional consultations on Asia and I held the first Central Asia Dialogue with my counterpart in June,” Blake said.
Russia's chief envoy to India on Friday expressed his country's support for New Delhi's potential entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.
"No apartheid can be applicable to India. Russia's position is very clear on this matter. We want India to be a full member of the NSG and of other similar regimes. There has been no change in this," Ambassador Alexander Kadakin said in an interview.
"As regards the renovated rules worked out by the NSG, we are confident that they will not affect our large-scale plans and bilateral 'road map' of March 2010 to develop peaceful nuclear energy in India," Kadakin said.
Meanwhile, New Delhi has settled on terms for placing in effect the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, the Press Trust of India reported.