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Thursday 9th
posted by James Tweedie in World

Putin and Xi: Together we will overcome all problems before us

INDIA and Pakistan will set out down the road to membership of Eurasian security bloc the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) at this week’s Brics-SCO summit.

Speaking at a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the process of India joining the SCO had begun.

The dual summit of the SCO and the five Brics nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — is taking place in Ufa, the capital of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan.

The SCO currently comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia have “observer status.”

Adding the two south Asian giants would greatly expand the SCO’s clout. However, the organisation stresses that it is not a military rival to Nato.

Earlier, Mr Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to discuss co-operation within Brics and the SCO and current international issues.

“We are fully aware of the difficulties we face in the economy and in international politics, but if we join our efforts, I am sure we can overcome all problems before us and resolve all the tasks,” said Mr Putin.

And Mr Xi added: “We will continue working together with the international community to make our contribution to the cause of peace throughout the world.”

In May, the two leaders agreed to integrate China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union to boost trade and infrastructure.

On Tuesday, the central banks of the Brics nations agreed to set up a $100 billion (£65bn) reserve fund to protect their currencies from volatile markets.

Central Bank of Russia head — and Ufa native — Elvira Nabiullina said that the cash pool would come into effect on July 30. China will contribute $41bn (£27bn), Russia, Brazil and India $18bn (£11.7bn) each and South Africa $5bn (£3.3bn).