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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus see great potential of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the context of implementing the idea of integrating the European Economic Union and China’s initiative on the Silk Road economic belt, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday following talks with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei.
"Both our Belarusian friends and we see great SCO potential in this context. We welcome the active role of Belarus in accumulating practical ideas for the implementation of this large-scale project," Lavrov said. "Russia actively supports the application of Belarus for SCO observer status."
For his part, Makei stressed that the Belarusian side was trying "to take an active part in both the work of the organization and its individual agencies." "We are interested in the Belarusian participation ensured on a higher level. We hope that we will soon be able to ensure a political decision to upgrade the status of Belarus in the SCO to that of an observer and to complete all necessary formalities. Belarus is ready to become a "western corridor" for the SCO. We are not going to come there as a petitioner - we are going to make our contribution to the development of this organization," Belarusian foreign minister said.
He noted that during the recent visitof Chinese President Xi Jinping to Belarus the two sides had discussed "a number of promising projects, which fitted into China’s initiative on building the Silk Road economic belt. "This initiative has great importance within the framework of the SCO as well, and Belarus is ready to make a weighty contribution to its development and to the development of the SCO as a whole. We have already come up with about 10 interesting trade and investment projects, we hope that they will be included in the final 'road map' following the summit in Ufa," Makei said.
"We are very interested in the forthcoming meeting in Ufa. We expect it to take relevant positive decisions regarding Belarus," he added.