Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Daily Press Briefing

TUESDAY, MAY 26, 1998
8 No information on reported ISRAELi assistance to India nuclear program 
14-15 World Bank suspends loan; Glenn Amendment; EU, int'l response to nuke test 
DPB # 64
TUESDAY, MAY 26, 1998, 1:15 P.M.


QUESTION: On India - the World Bank is talking about blocking some loans. Do you have any details on that?

MR. RUBIN: Other than to say that obviously we intend to implement in full the correct interpretation and implementation of US sanctions under the Glenn Amendment. We have already begun to take action in some areas, such as suspending International Military Education and Training and stopping issuance of munitions licenses, and OPEC and Ex-Im have suspended new commitments.

We are working with out international partners to suspend new lending to India through international financial institutions. In that regard, contrary to a lot of what I read, we are happy to see that the EU Foreign Ministers have indicated they would work for a delay in consideration of loans to India if India does not accede to relevant international nonproliferation agreements.

However, some of these Glenn Amendment sanctions are so novel and unprecedented that we want to study them very carefully and make sure we clarify a lot of the details before we impose them and create precedent in this area.

QUESTION: So you're saying the EU did not say it would forego sanctions - they said they would work on delaying loans to India?

MR. RUBIN: What I'm saying is that there was a general impression given that the United States was the only country in the world doing anything about the Indian test other than words. At the time, I indicated very strongly that I thought there were a series of countries, including Japan and Germany and others, who were taking very stiff action. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, it's still remembered as an issue where only the United States is doing anything.

So I am pointing you to the fact that the European Union has indicated that they would work for a delay in considerations of loans to India if India does not accede to the relevant nonproliferation agreements - in particular, the CTBT -- which means that other countries, the EU now as a group, is signaling that India's test has made it more difficult for it to receive international financial assistance. That is a sanction in the broadest sense of the word. There is a negative effect on India from the test.

With respect to the World Bank current action, my best understanding is that the management of the bank decided, at this point, to delay consideration of the loan. And what I'm saying to you is that we are working, pursuant to our sanctions, to suspend new lending to India through such facilities.

QUESTION: And you believe that the Europeans will vote with you?

MR. RUBIN: I didn't say that. We don't speculate as to how other countries vote. I'm just trying to give you a general sense of what our position is. I can be very specific: we are going to work to suspend new lending to India.

Generally, the Europeans - again, contrary to the impression one gets from international media accounts - are moving towards imposing what is effectively a sanction - that is, a negative effect for India if it doesn't joint the CTBT -- as a result of the test. With respect to how EU countries would vote in the World Bank, you'd have to ask them.

QUESTION: How much was the loan that was just suspended?

MR. RUBIN: I'll have to get you that for the record.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing concluded at 2:00 p.m.)

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