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Abrüstung und Rüstungskontrolle
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Preventing the nuclear dam from bursting - Inducing India to move towards the nuclear disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation regime

Autor: Webmaster

Datum: 7. März 2006 16:34:04 +01:00 oder Di, 07 März 2006 16:34:04 +01:00


German Bundestag
Printed paper 16/834

16th electoral term
7 March 2006


tabled by the Members of the German Bundestag Jürgen Trittin, Winfried Nachtwei, Volker Beck, Alexander Bonde, Thilo Hoppe, Ute Koczy, Claudia Roth, Rainder Steenblock, Renate Künast, Fritz Kuhn and the ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS parliamentary group

Preventing the nuclear dam from bursting - Inducing India to move towards the nuclear disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation regime

The Bundestag is requested to adopt the following motion:

Hauptteil:  I. The German Bundestag notes:

1. The German Bundestag shares concerns that the agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation signed by India and the US on 2 March 2006 fundamentally weakens the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The agreement is intended to lift the restrictions on supplying India with nuclear materials and technology that have been in place for around 30 years. This precedent threatens to burst the dam on nuclear proliferation. Implementation of the agreement requires not only an amendment of US law, but also the consent of all 45 participants in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), with the result that the Federal Government and the EU Member States also bear partial responsibility.

2. India's declaration that it is in principle willing to place its nuclear programme under further safeguards and to move towards the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other arms control agreements is welcome. It is in the fundamental interests of the international community to induce India, Israel and Pakistan, the only states which have not yet acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to move towards the global non-proliferation regime.

The German Bundestag has repeatedly called on states that are not party to the NPT to join this and other arms control agreements. The NPT does not provide for states which have managed to obtain nuclear weapons after 1 January 1967 by circumventing or infringing NPT commitments to accede to the NPT as nuclear powers. The treaty can only be amended by consensus, meaning that this is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

The US-Indian agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation should be seen as an inducement to seek multilateral and universal solutions which strengthen, rather than weaken, the current non-proliferation regime.

3. The planned agreement between the US and India includes de facto recognition of nuclear-weapon-state status for India. It grants India preferential treatment as regards International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear safeguards. As demanded by the Indian government, all facilities which serve or could potentially serve military purposes will be out of bounds for international inspectors. Such prerogatives have hitherto been available only to the nuclear-weapon states recognised by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), namely China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA.

In spite of this, India is to receive unlimited access to nuclear technology, previously available only to NPT states which have renounced nuclear weapons and placed their nuclear programmes under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Granting such privileges to India, which has thus far refused to join any nuclear control agreement, undermines a central pillar of the NPT and places it under severe additional pressure at a time when it is already in crisis.

Lifting the international restrictions on supplying India with nuclear materials risks triggering new arms races in Asia, as it will enable India to import uranium for energy generation. India could then devote its own scarce uranium reserves exclusively to military purposes and thus accelerate and expand both its missile programme and its planned nuclear arms programme. Its regional rivals, China and Pakistan, would probably follow suit.

Already, the agreement is hampering international efforts to convince Iran to voluntarily restrict its nuclear activities. India, which is not a party to the NPT, is granted special rights regarding the use of nuclear energy and thus in effect the expansion of its nuclear arsenal, while at the same time the international community expects Iran, which has been a party to the NPT for more than 30 years, to renounce control of the complete fuel cycle, permitted by law, because it has infringed safeguards.

4. The main grounds given for this change in policy are strategic reasons and references to India being a democracy that has dealt responsibly with its nuclear weapons and facilities in the past and poses no threat. These double standards undermine the NPT. Even democracies have no right to nuclear weapons or to tolerance of violations of the non-proliferation regime. Today's strategic partners could become tomorrow's adversaries. In the past, weapons and nuclear technology exported to supposedly stable partners of strategic importance have often fallen into the wrong hands and/or been misused. Iran and Iraq are typical examples of the short-sightedness of such a policy.

The US government's strategy of granting India a special status and thus destabilising one of the most successful and universal arms control regimes is wrong and dangerous in many respects.

  • India would not be obliged to forgo manufacturing additional nuclear weapons, to dismantle its existing stocks and to accede to the main arms control agreements. Civilian supplies could enable it to continue expanding its nuclear arsenal unchecked.
  • India would be belatedly rewarded for circumventing the NPT and violating its assurances regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy. All other states which - in some cases due to considerable pressure from the international community - have declared their willingness to renounce or halt their nuclear weapons programmes and acceded to the NPT on this basis would be penalised for abiding by the terms of the treaty. Such double standards would considerably hamper attempts to reach a quick solution to the nuclear disputes with Iran and North Korea.
  • The ‘India-specific' arrangement would become a model for Israel, Pakistan and all other states which manage to acquire nuclear weapons. The agreement could result in other NPT members supplying nuclear technology to states outside the global non-proliferation regime. Multilateral export controls, as agreed within the framework of the NSG, would then grow increasingly irrelevant.
  • States which intend to acquire nuclear weapons by illicitly exploiting the weaknesses of the NPT can hope to be rewarded for doing so in the long term. The NPT's current fuel cycle safeguards, rules on withdrawal and sanctions regime are not an insurmountable barrier, as is shown by the example of North Korea, for instance.

5. The German Bundestag takes the view that restrictions on supplying India with nuclear materials must not be eased under the existing conditions, and moves to do so must be rejected by the Federal Government. An agreement to lift restrictions on supplies to India can only be in the interests of Germany and Europe if India, in return, makes verifiable, far-reaching, irreversible commitments to nuclear transparency and disarmament, as well as a binding commitment to comply with global non-proliferation rules and nuclear arms control measures. In addition, the NPT's loopholes regarding the fuel cycle, withdrawal and the sanctions regime must be closed without delay.

The German Bundestag considers itself to be in agreement with longstanding US policy, as expressed, for example, by Strobe Talbott, US Deputy Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs, March/April 1999; German translation published in the Rheinischer Merkur newspaper, 25 June 1999):

"[The United States] cannot concede, even by implication, that India and Pakistan have by their tests established themselves as nuclear-weapons states with all the rights and privileges enjoyed by parties to the NPT, such as full international help in developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. To relent would break faith with those states that have forsworn a capability they could have acquired. Moreover, it might inadvertently provide an incentive for other countries to blast their way into the ranks of the nuclear-weapons states. Therefore, until India and Pakistan disavow nuclear weapons and accept safeguards on all their nuclear activities, they will continue to forfeit the full recognition and benefits that accrue to members in good standing of the NPT."

6. Nuclear energy, which is expensive and high-risk, will make no appreciable contribution to solving energy problems in India, either. India is very rich in untapped renewable energy. The Federal Government should therefore significantly intensify German-Indian cooperation in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation.

II. The German Bundestag calls on the Federal Government to

1. explicitly inform the US and India of the German Bundestag's grave concern;

2. seek support within the EU for a joint and united approach within the Nuclear Suppliers Group, with the aim of tangibly strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime by involving India, Israel and Pakistan;

3. continue to urge that India, Pakistan and Israel accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states;

4. apply a very strict yardstick in the debate on a possible easing of restrictions on nuclear supplies to India, and to ensure in parallel that sustainable solutions are found to internationalise the fuel cycle, make it more difficult to withdraw from the NPT, and apply sanctions in the case of infringements;

5. make clear to the US, India and other partner states that before international export restrictions can be relaxed, India must meet the following basic prerequisites:

  • all nuclear facilities devoted wholly or in part to non-military purposes, and all future nuclear facilities, must be placed under IAEA safeguards in perpetuity;
  • the production of weapons-grade fissile material must be halted permanently, bindingly and verifiably;
  • India must accede to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT);
  • it must make a credible commitment to halting the manufacture of further nuclear weapons, and to nuclear disarmament, as enshrined in Article VI of the NPT.

6. commit Germany to continuing to apply the NSG guidelines in their current form, to preserving the restrictive line regarding national controls on exports to India, and to continuing not to implement the German-Indian agreement on nuclear cooperation, due to be extended in May 2006;

7. intensify German-Indian cooperation in the field of regenerative energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation;

8. inform and consult the Bundestag regularly about progress made.

Berlin, 7 March 2006
Renate Künast, Fritz Kuhn and parliamentary group

Explanatory memorandum:

Most nuclear supplier countries imposed restrictions on supplies of nuclear materials and technology to India after it conducted its first nuclear test in 1974. India obtained part of the fissile material for that test by misusing civilian nuclear reactors supplied by Canada and the US for military purposes, contrary to assurances it had given. India consciously broke bilateral agreements in the pursuit of nuclear armament.

The most important nuclear supplier countries subsequently agreed on nuclear export restrictions. These were codified by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, founded in 1975, of which the 45 leading nuclear supplier countries are now members. The NSG's politically binding rules prohibit the export of nuclear goods to states which do not accept full-scope IAEA safeguards. The NSG is one of the most important instruments in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It makes an essential contribution to ensuring that peaceful nuclear programmes are not misused in attempts to acquire the bomb.

India carried out further nuclear tests in May 1998 and was unanimously condemned for doing so by the United Nations Security Council (S/PRST/1998/12, 14 May 1998). The Security Council called on India to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapons state.

Thus far, India has not signed any nuclear control agreements and is not prepared to accept the same arms control obligations as the recognised nuclear-weapon states. New Delhi rejects the NPT and CTBT, as well as a moratorium on the production of weapons-grade fissile material. The recognised nuclear-weapon states, namely China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA, have signed the CTBT (France, Russia and the UK have also ratified it) and have declared that they will produce no more fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Article I of the NPT contains the following commitment for nuclear-weapon states: "not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices". India is a non-nuclear-weapon state according to the NPT's definition. Its nuclear weapons programme will benefit, at least indirectly, if plans to supply India with civilian nuclear technology go ahead. The planned US and French agreements therefore contradict the spirit and the letter of the NPT.

India is a member of the IAEA. Four light-water reactors, used exclusively for energy generation, are thus far being monitored by the IAEA. India has rejected further-reaching safeguards. The Indian government has repeatedly made clear that an expansion of IAEA safeguards following the planned nuclear agreement must not lead to any restrictions whatsoever on India's nuclear weapons programme.

Nuclear safeguards agreements aim to ensure that possible military misuse of civilian nuclear facilities and fissile material is uncovered at an early stage. The additional protocol to the safeguards agreements is intended to enable the IAEA to identify potential secret facilities. In states like India, however, which possess nuclear weapons and need not permit safeguards on their military facilities, safeguards agreements have only symbolic value, at best. They do not help to control the military programmes in these states.

On 18 July 2005 the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and US President Bush signed a joint statement on civilian nuclear cooperation in which India is described as a "responsible" state. In this statement, the US government declares that it will seek to ensure, both in the US Congress and within the NSG, that existing restrictions on supplying India with nuclear equipment and technology are lifted. For the first time, India commits itself to separating its civilian and military nuclear facilities and to placing voluntarily all of its civilian nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards; to signing an additional protocol to the existing safeguards agreements; to continuing its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing; to working together with the US for the conclusion of a multilateral Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty; to following international rules on preventing the transfer of nuclear technology and to transposing these rules into national law.

On 2 March 2006, Singh and Bush signed an agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation, under which India will place at least 14 of its 22 existing nuclear reactors under IAEA safeguards in perpetuity by 2014. Reactors devoted solely or in part to military purposes will not be subject to safeguards. In particular, India refuses to open up to the IAEA two fast-breeder reactors used both for energy generation and the production of weapons-grade plutonium, as the US had previously demanded. The Indian government has not committed itself to placing new reactors under international safeguards.

On 20 February 2006, during President Jacques Chirac's state visit to New Delhi, France and India issued a joint declaration on the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The declaration contains similar aims to the joint statement issued by the US and India on 18 July 2005.

Lifting the existing nuclear trade restrictions on India requires an amendment of US export legislation and a revision of the NSG guidelines. As the NSG takes decisions by consensus, Germany's explicit consent is necessary if the nuclear sanctions are to be lifted. Within the NSG framework, the US has suggested the creation of an India-specific arrangement within both the NSG and the framework of the 1954 Atomic Energy Act. In both the US Congress and the NSG, considerable reservations are harboured about lifting the nuclear embargo.

Such a step could legitimise other states' claims that they are entitled to supply nuclear technology to Israel, Pakistan or North Korea, which are also not party to the NPT. China, for example, has already announced that it will resume supplying Pakistan with nuclear technology if trade restrictions against India are lifted. Pakistan has demanded similar privileges regarding access to nuclear technology as are now to be granted to India.

India's claim that it wants to maintain only a minimum deterrent is neither credible nor verifiable. India wants to expand its nuclear arsenal from a current total of approximately 100 nuclear weapons to 300-400 weapons. In addition, India is modernising its delivery systems and nuclear warheads and wants in future to deploy its nuclear weapons via land, sea and air-based systems. In a few years, these delivery systems will also be able to reach European countries and the US.

India's uranium reserves and deposits are insufficient to pursue its ambitious civilian and military nuclear programmes simultaneously. Experts believe that if India's nuclear programme continues to expand at the current rate, its uranium reserves could be exhausted by as early as the end of 2006. Uranium imports are necessary if India wants to continue its current course of nuclear armament while at the same time expanding its civilian use of nuclear energy.

India's nuclear weapons programme will indirectly benefit if India is supplied with uranium fuel for civilian nuclear reactors. Some Indian experts have therefore advised their government to place as many reactors as possible under international safeguards to allow domestic uranium reserves to be used exclusively for military purposes.

Germany has hitherto applied a restrictive yardstick regarding nuclear exports to India, in some respects going further than the NSG guidelines. For example, the supply of non-listed items that could serve the Indian nuclear programme has only been permitted if they are verifiably used in the four Indian light-water reactors already under IAEA safeguards. Implementation of the German-Indian nuclear agreement concluded in 1971 has been frozen since the mid-seventies. The next automatic extension is due in mid-May 2006.

At the same time, Germany is seeking to ensure that the NSG is strengthened and international export controls are tightened. Lifting or easing the restrictions on supplying India with nuclear materials would undermine these efforts.


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