Duma has mixed feelings about India's nuclear tests
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Amidst mixed feelings at the Russian parliament towards India's nuclear tests, a lawmaker urged on Tuesday not to impose any sanctions against New Delhi. Chairman of the security committee at Russia's State Duma lower house of parliament Viktor Ilyukhin said "this is an extreme measure to be used with appropriate caution. However, he said India's three nuclear tests had created "a certain danger that can torpedo all nuclear test ban agreements," adding that over the past few years, France and India have set up a dangerous precedent in this field. Ilyukhin said Russia, China and the UN should adopt in this connection relevant statements warning India. But head of Duma's geopolitics committee Aleksei Mitrofanov told reporters that India "had made the right move since it is faced with a quite tangible danger from Pakistan." "It is generally known that Islamabad carries out its nuclear tests which are supported by the Western alliance, so India has no other option," Mitrofanov stated. Russia should review its stance towards nuclear test bans, he said, adding that the country needs nuclear tests on a limited scale. "Nuclear weapons should be tested, although very rarely -- one should watch what is happening around," Mitrofanov said. According to the lawmaker, the Liberal Democrats have drawn a draft resolution recommending the president to carry on with limited nuclear tests. "I believe we'll greenlight the document," Mitrofanov noted. He also called for further arms supplies to New Delhi. "India is our strategic ally, we have never had any problems with it. We should understand that India has a problem with Pakistan," he said. On Tuesday, the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry said it regrets India's having conducted another nuclear test. First Deputy Minister for atomic energy Viktor Mikhailov told Itar-Tass that the test could prove "the start of a new spiral in the development of nuclear weapons for so-called threshold countries". Mikhailov called for India's ... Read more

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