NEW DELHI: India is unruffled by reports from Washington that the U.S administration would impose penalties on this country as well as on Russia if the latter provided certain rocket technology to New Delhi.
This was indicated not only by defence minister Sharad Pawars statement on joint Indo U.S. naval exercises program but also by diplomatic circles.
Reports from Washington provide a clue to India’s unruffled stance as it is stated that the U. administration cannot afford to treat the issue a life and death question. Thus the U.S. state department spokesperson Margaret Tutwiler first indicated that the administration would impose penalties on India and Russia but the threat was later specified and limited in nature by another spokesperson He only said that penalties would be targeted at Indian Space Research Organization and not at India. Similarly it was stated that the Russian space agency Glavkosmos would be affected. Both these organizations according to the revised U.S. state departments briefing would face suspension of access to U.S. technology of the kind which required export licensing. In other words the Indian space organization will not have access to the USS Sophisticated technology. Also this organization will lose access to U.S. government contracts.
India claims its space program is peaceful and educational in nature and is not geared to the country’s war requirements. But there are few takers for this claim in diplomatic circles here.
Even as India may somehow overcome strong U.S. opposition on the technology transfer issue it may have to contend with a change in Russia attitude in response to the USS. Pressure the Russ amenability to Washington’s views was reflected by a statement made in Delhi by the visiting Russian state secretary Gennady Burbulis. He told Indian correspondents that Russia would “confirm” its obligations (on the rocket technology transfer to India “passed on international neutral expertise.” This statement is interpreted to mean that Russia has added a new rider to the promise made to India The Russian official at the same time protested against the U.S stand saying that any state which tries to be a rule maker for the world without taking into account the interests of its partners is not serving as an ex ample to other.
India’s minister for parliamentary affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad old members in the Rajya Sabha that be govt would not bow else USS threat hates the Consequences
All sections of the Indian Upper house expressed their opposition to the U.S pressure and said that the country’s independence was at stake.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 15, 1992