India is not unduly worried over the decision of the G-8 group of industrialised nations to impose curbs on full nuclear cooperation on certain countries and feels it shouldn’t affect any of the existing agreements it has on civil nuclear cooperation.
New Delhi feels that G-8 attempts to restrict enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) go back to 2004 and were not specifically directed at India. Hence, the decision is not new.
At last week’s G-8 summit in Italy, the US persuaded world’s richest nations to ban the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing items to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty including India.
The nuclear issue is likely to figure during talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here on a two-day visit, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday.
New Delhi also holds that the G-8 view does not have the approval of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group which had extended last year a clean waiver to India without conditions to do nuclear commerce.
As far as India is concerned, the NSG waiver was an unanimous decision to which the G-8 countries were a party and that is the agreement that it intends to go by.
India feels that the NSG will have to get back to it if the grouping feels the need to look for any changes.
New Delhi looks the G-8 view as individual decision by certain countries. The practical effect on India it is argued, is so far zero since New Delhi does not need enrichment and reprocessing technologies.
Even so, New Delhi would not like to see any dilution of India’s eligibility for full civil nuclear cooperation.
India would like to study the G-8 document in detail.
Informed sources pointed out that the G-8 decision was for all ENR transfers and not directed only against India. New Delhi shares the G-8 concern to the extent that everyone should not have free access to sensitive technologies.
If this is easily available all over the world it could spell danger if it gets into wrong hands.
India feels that the G-8 decision does not affect the sale of nuclear reactors and fuel or hamper in any way its right to reprocess spent fuel on the basis of bilateral agreements with individual countries.