MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is a non-aligned organization and it is not pitting itself against the new security alliance of Australia, Great Britain and the United States (AUKUS), Special Envoy of the Russian President for SCO Affairs Bakhtiyor Khakimov told an online briefing on Thursday.
When asked if the SCO can become a counterweight to the trilateral partnership of Canberra, London and Washington the envoy said:
"The SCO is a non-aligned organization, it does not set the task of creating supranational bodies of economic integration. The SCO is a multidisciplinary entity, an organization aimed at strengthening mutual trust, developing cooperation and ensuring security in the Euro-Asian region. We do not plan to pit the SCO against any other blocs."
On September 15, Australia, the UK and the US announced the creation of a new security partnership — AUKUS. Under the agreement, Australia, in particular, plans to build at least eight nuclear submarines with the help of British and American technologies. The first submarines will enter operational service in 2036. Australia also plans to reequip its armed forces with American cruise missiles. The move broke an earlier defense deal inked with France, the biggest in Australia's history. Paris slammed Canberra's decision as "a stab in the back" and recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia for consultations.