DUSHANBE, September 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Common views of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries’ leaders on the situation in Ukraine are reflected in the Dushanbe Declaration, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of SCO countries’ leaders on Friday.
The leaders have discussed the situation in Ukraine at a close-format meeting, he said. Putin stressed that "our approaches on major directions of cooperation have turned out to be identical or similar, and these common views are reflected in the Dushanbe Declaration".
SCO welcomes the Minsk agreements on settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon told the SCO summit on Friday. “Our common task is to hinder new challenges and threats with a high level of regional cooperation,” he said. “We welcome the results of the Minsk meeting of the involved parties on settlement of the situation in Ukraine’s east, which are based on observing plans of Ukraine’s president and initiatives of the Russian president,” Tajikistan’s leader said.
Putin said he supports development of the SCO program for trade and economic cooperation. “I would like to say, the global economy has not yet overcome the crisis, and the current political risks, various limitations and barriers, affect the situation,” he told a meeting of leaders of the SCO member-states. “Thus, I would like to suggest updating the SCO programfor the trade and economic cooperation of 2003 and the plan for its implementation, which was updated back in 2008.”
The president said the countries should improve cooperation on security in food, transport, energy and finances on the SCO space. “We have already organized many mechanisms for cooperation of the kind,” he said.
Russia also supports improvement of inter-regional relations, Putin said. “Quite promising, in our opinion, is the idea to form an SCO common transport system, including the transport potential of TransSib (Trans-Siberian Railway) and BAM (Baikal-Amur Railway), connected with China’s plans to develop the Silk Route.”
A good impetus to practical work in this direction will come from the agreement the countries will sign on Friday on organization of favorable conditions for international car transportation. The countries will form a network of road routes, including a transport corridor between Europe and Western China.
Against the background of continuing unfriendly actions of the West against Russia, the significance of the SCO as an integration union in the Eurasian space will only be growing, a Chinese expert told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
“Russia is now facing enormous external pressure from the West — both economic and political, and the recent actions of the EU and NATO just confim this,” deputy head of the Institute of International Relations and Regional Development of East China Normal University Yang Cheng said. “So, it is quite natural that Russia in such a situation gives major attention to the Eurasian vector of its foreign policy,” he said. “Moscow’s allies in the region are the SCO partners,” the expert said. “The SCO summit significance in the conditions of the Ukrainian crisis has certainly grown for Russia,” he added.
“China is also now under certain pressure at the eastern boundaries, and it also attaches major importance to the development of relations with the western neighbors. I think that Russia and China, being the main SCO ‘engines’, in these conditions will exert the maximum efforts and will be able to improve the organization’s interaction efficiency,” Cheng said.
He said the visible progress in the creation of the SCO development bank and admission of new members in the organization testifies to the further rapprochement of China and Russia within SCO. “The sides previously had no unity on these problems,” the expert said.
“The creation of the development bank meets primarily the interests of Central Asian states, as it will provide financing for economic projects in their territories. However, economic development and well-being in Central Asia will ultimately ensure regional stability, in which both China and Russia are interested,” he said.