QINGDAO /China/, June 10. /TASS/. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) currently has the best possible structure and it is too early to speak about any further expansion, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at the end of his visit to China.
"As for an expansion, we have agreed that the current structure is the best possible one," he said. "We need to see how the already expanded organization will operate," Putin added.
According to the Russian president, after the SCO’s effectiveness is assessed, member states will "make a decision on further steps concerning the organization’s expansion."
Putin also said that following the accession of India and Pakistan, the SCO’s high efficiency "is unquestionable." He said that it was only natural that some issues emerged between countries, while "organizations such as the SCO are established for resolving these difficult issues." In this regard, Putin pointed out that the SCO’s initial goal was to resolve border issues between China and a number of former Soviet states.
The Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was singed in China’s Shanghai in June 2001 by six founding states - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were granted SCO membership on June 9, 2017. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status, while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners.