Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions on the sidelines of the SCO Heads of State Council, Tashkent, June 24, 2016
Question: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked Russia for supporting his country’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Could you clarify what exactly this support consisted of? As I understand it, there is talk that India, just as Pakistan, wants special terms for joining this organisation.
Sergey Lavrov: There is no intrigue here. The NSG was formed by NPT member countries to ensure the safe transfer of nuclear technology to generate electric power. India is not an NPT member, but considering that it has the spotless reputation as a country that has never been a source of nuclear proliferation, we are willing to support it.
There are a number of countries in the NSG that believe that this issue requires further consideration.
Question: What are these countries? Is China among them?
Sergey Lavrov: Not only China. There are several states, but their goal is not exactly to block India’s accession to this group. They are willing to consider it, but they want certain procedures to be defined for countries that are not party to the NPT Treaty.
Question: Does Russia have the same attitude toward Pakistan?
Sergey Lavrov: Of course, this is a systemic issue. It is not related to a particular country.
Question: Considering this debate, could an approximate timeline be defined as to when the accession could take place?
Sergey Lavrov: As soon as a consensus is reached.
Question: We say that a weak Europe is not good for us, but at the same time some people in our country suggest that this is good for the United States. Do you agree with this?
Sergey Lavrov: I do not know what a weak or strong Europe is, and whether the decision made by the British people weakens or strengthens Europe. We will have to see.
Question: Do you expect a “wave of referendums”? Many politicians are talking about this now.
Sergey Lavrov: We expect nothing. We are not a member of this organisation. That after the British referendum, political forces in various EU countries say they also want to organise a similar referendum is a purely internal affair of these countries and of the EU.