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Beijing on mind, Modi calls Putin

India’s NSG membership bid

New Delhi, June 13: Prime Minister rendra Modi has called up Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking support for India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

On the occasion of Russia’s tiol Day on June 12, Modi rang up President Putin to convey his good wishes, and also sought his support for India’s bid for NSG membership.

“The leaders confirmed their intention to continue comprehensive deepening of bilateral relations, which have the character of a very privileged strategic partnership. The discussion focused on practical issues of the two countries’ cooperation, including preparations for the top level contacts to be held shortly,” a statement from the Kremlin said.

Russia has been supportive of India’s membership in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group.

India wants more pro-active support from Russian President Putin so as to influence Turkey and Kazakhstan as these countries are opposing India’s bid for NSG membership.

The outreach is particularly important as Chi continues to stick to its stance that NSG members remain “divided” on the issue of membership, claiming support of many countries within the group to its “principled stand”.

Chi has been insisting on signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a criterion for NSG membership. However, New Delhi has interpreted Beijing’s stance as a resolute ploy to keep India at bay while pushing for Pakistan’s inclusion into the NSG.  

Prime Minister Modi will meet up with Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Tashkent on June 23, just before the NSG plery in Seoul.

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Ankur Kalita