SCO-Meeting: Shanghai Group accepts Belarus as new member

SCO-Meeting in Kazakhstan

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has accepted Belarus as a new member. The presidents of China and Russia also met for talks at the summit of the Moscow-friendly group of states in Kazakhstan.

Belarus is officially a new member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which was founded to deal with international security issues. Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s party and head of state Xi Jinping and other heads of state signed the documents for the admission of the authoritarian country at the SCO summit in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who is chairing the SCO this year, congratulated Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko, who is considered the last dictator in Europe.

Moscow: Talks with China “very successful”

Putin had already held talks with several heads of state, including Xi, after his arrival in Astana on Wednesday. According to Chinese state television, Xi once again assured Putin at the bilateral meeting that he would continue to work for a peaceful solution to Russia’s war against Ukraine. At the same time, he reaffirmed cooperation with Russia.

At the summit, Xi also appealed to the SCO members to fend off “external interference”: “Given the real risks of small farms being protected with high fences, we must protect the right to development,” Chinese state television CCTV quoted Xi’s summit speech as saying. He was apparently alluding to the growing protectionism of Western countries against China.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the talks with China as very successful. Both sides agreed that negotiations in the conflict over Ukraine without Russia would not make sense, Peskov said on Russian state television. Russia was not invited to the Ukraine-initiated peace summit in Switzerland in mid-June. China, which has presented its own peace plan to end the war, also stayed away from the meeting.

Putin’s dream of a new world order

According to the Kremlin, Putin also held talks about his war in Astana with his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who often acts as a mediator. Erdogan reiterated his invitation to Putin to visit Turkey. Turkey is not yet a member of the SCO.

In the course of his war against Ukraine, Putin repeatedly declared that, in view of the tensions with the West, he was striving for a new world order – without a dominant role for the USA. The SCO, which was initially founded in 2001 to combat terrorism, also includes India, Pakistan, Iran and the Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

In the pro-Russian group, Putin is unlikely to hear much criticism of his attack on Ukraine. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not attending the summit; according to the Kremlin, he plans to visit Russia afterwards.


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