Beijing, June 6: Russian President Vladimir Putin has termed India, China and Russia as key players in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The 18th summit is scheduled to be held on June 9 and June 10 in eastern China’s coastal city of Qingdao a few days from now. Putin told China’s national English Channel, CTGN that the eight-member bloc had evolved from a group that was initially launched to resolve border issues between China, Russia and former constituents of the Soviet Union into a powerful organisation with substantial resources. The Russian president further added, “The SCO member-states account for one-fourth of the world’s GDP, 43% of the international population and 23% of the global territory.” Putin stressed the need for rapid economic growth of China, India and Russia.
India and Pakistan will be participating as full SCO members in this edition of the summit. The SCO is a Eurasian inter-governmental organisation, the creation of which was announced in 2001 in Shanghai by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were granted full member status at the SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, in June last year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Putin is likely to be held on the sidelines of the Qingdao summit. After the informal summit at Sochi in May, both the leaders will be meeting for the second time in three weeks if the bilateral meeting is held. Russia will be India’s key ally in the SCO.
After the summit at Black Sea Resort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Indo-Russia relations. The PM termed Russia as an old friend. Prime Minister through his tweet highlighted the strong ties with Russia.PM Modi tweeted, “The friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time. Our ties will continue to scale newer heights in the coming years.”Speaking on international issues, the four-time Russian president also slammed the United States for imposing sanctions on Russia.
Yesterday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made it clear that India would go ahead to ink Rs 40,000 deal with Russia to procure the most advance air defence systems despite concerns raised by the United States. Sitharaman said that India had clarified to the US that its ties with Russia were independent of external influences. This statement of the defence minister came just days after US Congressmen, Republican Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services, had raised concerns over India’s deal to procure S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence systems from Russia.