Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that India will formally become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) within a week. “As far as our international cooperation goes, one thing I would like to point out, in one week, India is becoming full fledged member of the SCO,” he said. Putin met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the annual bilateral summit. “The most important thing is the trust and friendship in our relationship between our countries and our people,” said Putin, welcoming Modi.
“I am glad to have this opportunity to meet you and discuss the whole spectrum of bilateral relations and international relations,” the Russian president told Modi. Recalling the summit in Ufa, Russia, Putin said: “I would like to remind that process was launched in 2015 in Ufa, Russia. Russia has always supported this and given full assistance to it.”
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a political, economic, and military bloc founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Responding to Putin’s warm welcome, PM Modi said he was privileged to have been able to visit Putin’s hometown as Prime Minister. Highlighting India’s historical relations with Russia based on trust, PM Modi said: “India, Russia friendship is very old, deep and based on trust. India and Russia have always been together on international issues,” he said. The Prime Minister also thanked the Russian President for his “active role” in getting India SCO membership. “I thank you for all the initiatives taken,” he said.
The Prime Minister also sought to focus on stability of Indo-Russia ties over the years. “Normally, in international relations there are ups and downs. But history is witness, there have been no ups and downs in Indo-Russia relations. We have always moved forward,” Modi said.
Meanwhile, China also confirmed the development in a media briefing in Beijing, where it announced that India and Pakistan’s admission as full members to the SCO will be formalised at the political and security grouping’s summit in Kazakhstan next week. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson also added: “Hope India and Pakistan strictly follow the charter of the SCO and the idea of good neighbourliness, uphold the SCO spirit, improve their relations and inject new impetus to the development of the SCO.”
Besides Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, PM Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are also likely to be present at the summit. There are also speculations that Sharif and Modi may likely meet on the sidelines of the summit.