NSG, economic diplomacy top Vice-President Ansari’s Poland agenda

India’s intensified drive to secure membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group, Vice-President Hamid Ansari will be in Warsaw this week where he is expected to seek a fresh reaffirmation of Poland’s support for New Delhi’s NSG bid and discuss a roadmap for expanding economic ties with Central Europe’s largest economy.
Poland has been supportive of India’s NSG membership, Mr Ansari told journalists travelling with his delegation on board his special aircraft. The vice-president began his five-day trip to Armenia and Poland on April 24. In EU, most countries, who are members of the elite nuclear cartel, support India’s NSG membership except for sceptics like Austria and Ireland. As the NSG operates by consensus, getting support of each of 46 countries of the NSG is critical for India’s quest to get inside the NSG which controls global flow of nuclear material and equipment. China remains the most formidable opposition in India’s drive for global nuclear rapprochement through the NSG membership. China is pushing for criteria-based approach for non-NPT signatories which are aspiring to join the NSG, which includes India and Pakistan. This move by Beijing is seen in New Delhi as a dilatory tactic which is meant to stall India’s legitimate NSG aspiration.
Mr Ansari touched down in Yerevan, Armenian capital, on a two-day visit on April 24. Alluding to centuries-old cultural connections between India and Armenia, Mr Ansari admitted that the economic ties have remained much below potential.
The NSG will be an important issue in the talks between India and Poland later this week, but the overarching focus of the vice-president’s visit will be on scaling up economic relations with Poland, the EU’s sixth largest economy and an influential regional player. The vice-president struck an upbeat note about the Poland opportunity, and underlined that Poland is a strong trading partner for India in Central Europe. The vice-president identified clean coal technology and agriculture as promising areas of bilateral cooperation between India and Poland.

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