As China plans to destroy India’s NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) dream, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the South Asian country’s membership bid.

Kremlin confirmed on Monday that the Indian PM urged President Putin on Saturday to support New Delhi’s global ambitions. A senior Russian official told the media President Putin assured Prime Minister Modi that Moscow would back India’s global ambition from the UN Security Council to the nuclear deal.

In a statement, Kremlin said: “The leaders confirmed their intention to continue comprehensive deepening of bilateral relations, which have the character of a very privileged strategic partnership. The discussion focussed on practical issues of the two countries’ co-operation, including preparations for the top-level contacts to be held shortly.” According to the statement, President Putin and Prime Minister Modi will meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Tashkent ahead of the NSG plenary. They will also hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as Russia wants India to become the 49th member of elite Group.

Meanwhile, an Indian diplomat said in New Delhi that Modi dialled the Russian president after China hardened its stand on India’s NSG membership bid. Earlier, a senior spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said: “There was no deliberation on any items related to the accession to the NSG by India or any other countries that are not signatories to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).” In Beijing, he told the press: “China has noted that some non-NPT countries aspire to join the NSG. But when it comes to the accession by non-NPT countries, China maintains that the group should have full discussions before forging consensus and making decisions based on agreement. The NPT provides a political and legal foundation for the international non-proliferation regime as a whole. China’s position applies to all non-NPT countries and targets no one in particular.”

With China, Ireland, Austria and Turkey opposing India’s NSG membership bid, Premier Modi plans to neutralise their efforts through Russian support. After receiving support from Switzerland, Mexico and the US, it becomes crucial for the PM to ensure Russia’s backing. As Modi made the phone call right after his visit to the US, diplomats opine that the PM smartly shuffles his diplomatic cards amid the chorus of a ‘new symphony’ in the Indo-US ties. Modi is well aware of the fact that India will have to maintain cordial relations with both Russia and America in order to fulfil its NSG dream.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]