We are always supportive of India’s candidacy to NSG

Russia’s new Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev while reiterating Moscow’s support to India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), discredited the ‘language of sanctions and discrimination’ used by other foreign competitors to undermine the partnership between the two countries in strategically important sectors like defence and nuclear energy.

In an interview to The Hindu newspaper, Ambassador Kudashev brushed aside the reports of rift between India and Russia. Talking about India’s candidature to the NSG, Kudashev said: “Our position is very simple. We support Indian membership at the NSG. But obviously not all members of this group share our approach. For us, consensus within the group is very important, it underlines the very existence of the NSG.” “And we proceed from the understanding that our Indian colleagues will also work with those who have certain doubts in this regard. From our side, we always voice our support for the Indian candidacy,” he added.

India’s entry to the NSG is hanging fire primarily due to opposition from China. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov during his visit to India in December 2017 has said that Moscow was talking to Beijing to support India’s entry into the regulatory group.

Russia’s Ambassador also sought to clear the air about the fear of competition from other foreign collaborations in the nuclear sector. “Speaking about U.S. and French companies, we are not afraid of normal, fair competition. We are confident in the merits of our technologies. And in any case, despite all the talk, the Russian side and the Russian company Rosatom is the only enterprise has been doing business in India for decades, producing energy for India,” Kudashev told The Hindu.

India has signed agreement with the French Areva and the US Westinghouse, but both the projects are far from taking off.

Russia’s Ambassador also touched upon the campaigns ran by other foreign players against it. “The only thing which is unacceptable to us is the language of sanctions and discrimination, the language which our partners (US) are increasingly using against us. This is nothing but an attempt to undermine our strategic partnership with India including in such strategically important sectors like military and technical cooperation, energy and nuclear energy,” Ambassador Kudashev was quoted by The Hindu as saying.