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MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia expects India and Pakistan to complete the formal process of joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June 2017, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the opening of SCO member states’ political consultations.
"According to its Charter, the SCO is open for new members that meet the criteria mentioned in our legal documents," he said. "We expect the process of providing full membership to India and Pakistan to be completed at the SCO Council of Heads of State meeting scheduled to be held in Astana next June."
"It is without a doubt a historical step that will elevate the political and economic profile of the SCO and significantly strengthen its security capabilities," Lavrov added.
The Russian top diplomat also said that against the background of the difficult international situation, the SCO member states had been stable. "We have been successfully combating external threats," Lavrov went on to say. "This is a result of well-coordinated and active work of the member states." However, according to the Russian top diplomat, there is a need to continue developing cooperation between SCO countries.