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From the rest of the world, Russia is not isolated

EastRussia sums up summits of BRICS and SCO

The holding of the BRICS and SCO summits in Ufa was the culmination of the Russian presidency in these two authoritative structures, Vladimir Putin said following the results of the BRICS and SCO summits.

From the rest of the world, Russia is not isolated

At these two summits, the heads of 15 states, representing several continents: Eurasia, Africa and South America, gathered. "Each of these countries has its own way of development, its own models of economic growth, rich history and culture." It is in this diversity, in the combination of traditions, of course, that the strength and the great potential of both the BRICS and the SCO ", summarized Vladimir Putin at the press Conference on the results of the BRICS and SCO summits. In fact, three organizations were present here - if we consider the Eurasian Economic Union as well. The President of Russia held 11 talks with leaders of other states and talks with the participation of the leader of the PRC and the President of Mongolia.

The documents approved at the conclusion of the BRICS summit - the Ufa Declaration, the Action Plan and the Economic Partnership Strategy - contain specific agreements on the development of the association and the strengthening of its international status. The beginning of the practical work of financial institutions - the New Bank and the Pula of conditional foreign exchange reserves with total capital of 200 billion dollars. By the end of the year, a special "road map" will be prepared with a list of joint major projects in the field of infrastructure, industry and agriculture. We agreed on the involvement of representatives of civil society. Everything will be open and understandable, because There will be a special Internet site - the virtual secretariat of the BRICS.

At the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit, which previously included six countries: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, announced the start of admission to full members of the organization of Pakistan and India - the first expansion of the organization for 15 years of existence. This decision, according to Putin, marks a new stage in the development of the SCO.

In addition, the status of Belarus has changed: from the partner country in the dialogue, it has moved to the category of observers and will now attend summits in this status along with Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia.

The status of the dialogue partner was received by: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Nepal and Cambodia. Prior to this, the dialogue partners were only two - Turkey and Sri Lanka.

The desire to join in the future in different statuses (observers and dialogue partners) to the SCO was expressed by another 11 states: from South and South-East Asia to the Middle East.

Expansion is not a threat

On the eve of the summit, all representatives of the member states quite definitely said that at the very summit the process of joining Pakistan and India to the SCO would be launched. However, on the day of the summit, President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan at a meeting with Vladimir Putin asked to clarify: "How will the process of accession of these two states [India and Pakistan] take place, if we consider that these states are not ordinary but possess nuclear weapons? If we look through this prism, tomorrow their joining the SCO will not only change the political map, but, I think, can change the alignment of forces. " "Islam Abduganievich, and how will it look: Uzbek President Karimov brought India and Pakistan to the SCO and created a new political world reality?" - Putin replied (meaning that the chairmanship in the SCO passes to Uzbekistan after the summit in Ufa).

This discussion took place in the morning before the meetings in the SCO. By the middle of the day, when the leaders had gathered for an extended meeting, Karimov's doubts were dispelled.

The entry of Pakistan and India, Islam Karimov, called it a completely natural process, although he recalled that the SCO has rules for accepting new members: “We perfectly understand what line they are passing if this issue is resolved positively in the near future.”

Thus, the SCO has become a platform where the most implacable rivals have the opportunity to communicate. So, India and Pakistan since gaining independence in 1949 three times have fought full-scale wars and have faced dozens of times in conflicts of various sizes. It was the confrontation with each other that pushed the two countries to gaining the status of nuclear powers.

All the other members of the SCO spoke about the admission of India and Pakistan with great optimism. With their accession, the population of the SCO countries will amount to 42% of the world. The potential of these countries is an aid to the development of the SCO, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev believes. President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev called the decision "historic." The leaders of the joined countries responded with more modest words. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif separately thanked for the reception.

The strained relations between the two countries forced journalists before the summit to take an interest in the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, whether their reception is blocking the work of the organization and how this can affect their bilateral relations. "We proceed from the fact that the more formats for communication and interaction, the more opportunities to help overcome the remaining differences," Lavrov said on the eve of the summit. In the SCO and in the current composition there are countries between which there are problems - both with water management and energy, he noted.

Vladimir Putin at the final press conference agreed that "the more members of the organization, the more difficult it is to come to a consensus." Neighbors, he said, objectively have many questions to each other, and the historical background is not always simple, but if common solutions do take place, then they matter.

Before becoming full members of the SCO, India and Pakistan will have to ratify 28 documents, including the Long-Term Good-Neighborhood Treaty, the fifth article of which says that the parties must respect the principle of inviolability of borders, actively make efforts to build confidence in the military field in the border areas , based on the determination to transform the borders with each other into the borders of eternal peace and friendship. ”

However, on the borders of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, there are still occasional shootings with human casualties. Commenting on these ongoing conflicts, SCO Secretary General Dmitry Mezentsev assured at the briefing that the institutions of the organization, without interfering in bilateral relations, facilitate the interaction of these countries.

The Russian side, which, unlike other participants, considers the SCO not only an economic, but also a political union, very much hoped that along with India and Pakistan in the near future it will be able to replenish Iran. "We are in favor of the summit in favor of approving his application," Sergei Lavrov said the day before.

Obviously, this solemn moment was one of the goals of the visit of the Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani, but a slip in the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program (Iranian nuclear program) in Vienna did not allow these plans to materialize. The delegation of Tehran hastily left Ufa in the evening of July 9, without even waiting for the start of the summit. "The situation requires that the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs come to grips with the negotiation process in Vienna," said a representative who remained in Ufa. And Dmitry Peskov assured journalists that the departure was not sudden: "We were warned."


Prior to the summit, the most discussed issue was the prospect of activating economic interaction within the organization through cooperation between the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union and the SCO in implementing projects proposed by China in the creation of the economic belt of the Silk Road. "The common opinion of Russia and China is that the SCO is very convenient and comfortable for everyone to discuss specific aspects of such an initiative," Lavrov said on the eve of the summit. This is not just a Russian-Chinese project, (it was proposed by the leaders of the two countries), but it must have a multilateral dimension, Lavrov said.

In recent years, the countries discussed the project of establishing the Bank for Development of the organization. However, the approaches of China and Russia were different. Finally, the idea was not abandoned. Putin announced the continuation of work on the establishment of the Development Bank and the SCO special account, as well as the establishment of an international project financing center on the basis of the Interbank Association. He called for more active use of the already existing financial structures in the region: the Eurasian Development Bank, the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments and the newly created BRICS Development Bank.

At the same time, in the context of the emergence of such a large number of financial institutions, the work within the SCO is not actively going on, we must first analyze how we can use the available potential, said one member of the Russian delegation.

Despite the emergence of the New BRICS Bank and others, China has not abandoned the intention to create and special financial instruments of the SCO. Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping said that his country supports the idea of ​​organizing the Development Bank of the SCO and in general is ready to meet the investment needs of the SCO countries. This initiative continues to be supported by Tajikistan, as stated by President Emomali Rahmon.

According to the Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China Gao Hucheng, who leads the news agency Xinhua, the chairman of the CPC Xi Jinping at the summit put forward the initiative of four-point trade and economic cooperation, which received a positive response from all sides.

First, the expansion of transport and communication opportunities in the region. The Chinese side intends to intensify cooperation with all parties, as a matter of priority to implement transport and communication projects on which agreements have already been reached, provide financial support for feasibility studies and project planning, and participate in cooperation in financing and investing in design and construction. In the next few years, efforts should be directed to the construction of 4 thousand km of railways, 10 thousand km of roads, in order to mainly form an intraregional transport and communication structure.

Secondly, strengthening of cooperation on production capacities. The Chinese side intends to promote the creation of cooperation parks in each of the member countries, to constantly deepen cooperation in production capacities in the petrochemical, metallurgy, equipment, transport and logistics, agricultural development and other fields to help improve the level of economic development of all countries.

Third, the provision of financial and investment support to important regional projects. The Chinese side is ready, using such financial platforms as the Silk Road Fund, the China-Eurasia Economic Cooperation Fund and others, to meet the needs of the SCO member countries for investment, as a priority to establish investment cooperation in infrastructure, resource development, industry and finance.

Fourth, strengthening cooperation in capacity-building. The Chinese side is actively implementing a three-year training program for 2 thousand personnel for the SCO member countries (2015-2017), while at the same time intends to provide technological assistance in the field of industrial planning, feasibility studies of large infrastructure projects,

Earlier, cooperation in the economic direction, where China had strong trump cards, failed to work - Russia blocked the attempts to create the SCO Development Bank, fearing Chinese domination, until last, Russia’s Carnegie Moscow Center program director Alexander Gabuev points out. The expert insists that so far the SCO has been a poorly functioning structure. Even now, he believes: “If, after the entry of Delhi and Islamabad, the SCO finally becomes an organization that brilliantly solves tiny tasks, but is unable to agree on really major problems, they will not be very upset in Beijing. After all, having a large regional organization with 42% of the world's population, over 25% of global GDP, headquartered in Beijing and with another Chinese city in its name, is already a good souvenir. ” Far from all agree with this assessment, there are other expert opinions.

The emergence of the initiative to create the Silk Road Economic Belt was a response to the inefficiency of the economic track in the SCO, said Alexander Lukin, director of the Center for East Asia and the SCO MGIMO. With the adoption of India and Pakistan, the SCO will include the leading non-Western states of Eurasia, it will be possible to talk about it as the most important structure of the emerging multipolar world, a kind of platform uniting the Eurasian alternative to Western Europe, writes Lukin in a review for the Valdai discussion club.

“If BRICS becomes an alternative to the West in the global governance system (more narrowly alternative to the G7 and G20), representing the interests of the non-Western world, the SCO will become the second non-Western pole of Eurasia, but it must seriously change to meet its new role of the SCO. to turn from an organization engaged in Russian-Chinese cooperation in Central Asia into a much more serious integration institution, ”indicates Lukin

While the organization is not very effective, it is more like a discussion club, but the documents adopted at the summit in Ufa and the statements show that it is becoming more dynamic, freeing from loud declarations, and can become more adapted to solving economic and security problems, Believes the director of the Center for the Study of Modern Iran, Radzhab Safarov.

The SCO member states separately supported China’s initiative to create the Silk Road economic belt. This large-scale infrastructure project, which should link the Chinese market with the markets of Asia and Europe, raises concerns among some experts, who believe that after its implementation, China’s influence in its countries of passage, including in Central Asia, will be dominant. However, the SCO does not share these concerns.

As stated in the declaration, the leaders of the SCO consider it important to establish consultations and information exchange between relevant departments of the SCO member states on the development of the Silk Road.

Terrorism is a threat, but IG is not mentioned in the final documents

Even before the summit, it was known that the leaders intend to discuss the threat posed by the terrorist group "Islamic State". Its militants, fighting under the banner of radical Islam, control the vast territory of Iraq and Syria. The threat from IG is especially relevant for the SCO, since a significant number of its members are Muslim countries, and among the fighters of the group are many citizens from these countries.

However, in the final documents IG is not mentioned anywhere. The declaration says that the SCO countries will step up efforts to counter "traditional and non-traditional challenges and threats to security", as well as to ensure comprehensive security, above all, the fight against terrorism. In addition, the countries agreed to jointly fight the spread of radical ideas via the Internet - the main source of influence of the IG and other extremist organizations around the world.

"Member States have expressed serious concern over the growing scale of international terrorism and extremism, combining the efforts of various terrorist groups and are in favor of building up a joint struggle of the world community with terrorist organizations in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council," the declaration says.

The SCO’s development strategy up to 2025, also adopted at the summit, contains more concrete proposals on how to combat these phenomena.

"Particular attention will be paid to cooperation in countering the activities of international terrorist organizations (MTO), aimed at involving the citizens of member states in terrorist, separatist and extremist groups, and fostering interaction with relevant international organizations and regional associations to identify and block channels of movement terrorist training for participation in armed conflicts on the territory of a third state on the side of MT Oh, and also the identification of such persons returning to the territory of the SCO member states after training or participating in armed conflicts on the side of the MTO, "the strategy says.

In addition, the member states agreed to develop a special SCO convention on combating extremism.

At the same time, the SCO spoke out against any interference of foreign states in the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. "The settlement of political crises in the region of the Middle East and North Africa should be achieved on the basis of mutual respect for the interests, supremacy of norms and principles of international law without external interference," the declaration reads.

The SCO stands for the need to reform the UN and against the expansion of missile defense

The SCO, as well as on the eve of BRICS, spoke in favor of the need to reform the UN, which is criticized for not representing the interests of all countries, cannot respond quickly to conflicts and is too influenced by the US and its allies.

"The member states are in favor of preserving the key place of the UN Security Council in the system of maintaining international peace and security envisaged in the UN Charter They believe that the reform of the UN Security Council should make it more representative and effective by holding the broadest possible consultations in the search for a package solution of interests ensuring the cohesion of the UN member states, without establishing an artificial time frame in forcing options that have not received broad support from member countries in the United Nations ", - said in the text of the Ufa the SCO declaration.

In addition, the SCO advocated strict observance of the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the development of the process of nuclear disarmament in conditions of equal and indivisible security for all, as well as the promotion of an equitable, mutually beneficial international cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Separately, the SCO spoke out about the development of anti-missile defense systems, which is a direct reference to the plans of the US to build a missile shield around Russia, based in NATO member countries. "Member states are convinced that the unilateral and unlimited increase by individual states or groups of states of missile defense systems will damage international security and destabilize the world situation, based on the fact that issues related to ensuring global security need to be resolved with the participation of all interested states Using political and diplomatic methods, "the declaration says.

In addition, the SCO called for an early restoration of peace in Ukraine, where in the south-east clashes continue between the proclaimed People's Democratic Republic and the People's Republic of China and official Kiev, on the basis of "complete and unconditional fulfillment of the Minsk agreements by all parties."

Russian-Chinese partnership is the driving force of the SCO

Recall that the SCO was founded as an organization in 2001 year as a forum for resolving the divergent interests of Russia and China in Central Asia, but then its significance and degree of influence increased. As the only major international organization that does not include the United States or any of its allies, the SCO was often used by Moscow or Beijing to counteract the spread of US influence in the region.

It should be noted that given the fact that NATO is winding down its operations in Afghanistan, the leaders of the SCO countries are considering the possibility of creating a coalition of more powerful security forces to counter the expected spread of Islamist extremism in the region. And despite the fact that this year the organization will include India and Pakistan, the SCO is likely to concentrate its efforts on further expanding the borders of its influence in Eurasia. In the current situation of increasing threats on the territory of Eurasia, this is a very important point, since without the support of the security situation and political stability in the region, no plans for economic interaction will be realized.

However, according to experts, the developing Russian-Chinese partnership is the driving force behind both organizations. Russia is trying to create a Eurasian Economic Union on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and China is expanding the Silk Road Economic Belt project, which includes investments in these regions and infrastructure development. Russia and the PRC agreed on the linkage of these two projects and the general direction of their development.

The SCO Development Strategy was approved, it defines the priorities for activities up to 2025 in all major areas of cooperation: from trade and economic interaction to ensuring regional stability and timely response to conflicts and crisis situations.

The leaders discussed in detail the situation in Afghanistan. Putin noted the intensification of the Islamic State militants, "who have extended their tentacles to this country, which increases the security threat on the southern borders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization."

It was decided not to delay the implementation of the Program of Cooperation in Combating Terrorism and Separatism for 2016-2018 years, to start the elaboration of the SCO Convention on Combating Extremism. The special statement of the summit reflects plans to counter the drug threat. An agreement on cooperation on border issues was also sent to prevent drug trafficking.

The leaders also agreed to expand the economic direction in the activities of the SCO. Putin invited the SCO representatives to the Eastern Economic Forum in September in Vladivostok: “Taking this opportunity, I invite the representatives of the countries, the SCO, first of all, of course, the business community, to take part in the Eastern Economic Forum - it will be held for the first time in September of this year in Vladivostok” - said the head of state.

Since 11 July, the chairmanship in the Organization has moved to Uzbekistan, and the next SCO summit will be held in this country in September 2016.

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