World / SCO Summit

Russian expert expects Ufa summit to reinforce SCO economic co-op mechanism

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-06 09:07

MOSCOW - Having made fruitful achievements in various fields, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) should take the opportunity of an upcoming summit in Ufa, Russia, to reinforce the mechanism for economic cooperation, a Russian senior researcher has said.

Alexander Lukin, director of the Center for East Asia and SCO Studies at Moscow State University for International Relations, praised the SCO for its growing international influence during a recent interview with Xinhua.

"The SCO rendered itself an influential international bloc in a short time," Lukin said, adding that successful cooperation was carried out to solve regional security and humanitarian issues.

He said educational and cultural cooperation is also an important task for SCO countries, as the Eurasian region's integration could be pushed forward with a "unique cultural basis".

Nevertheless, Lukin pointed out that the SCO still needs to explore the significant potential in economic cooperation.

According to the expert, the idea of establishing an SCO development bank still is yet to be turned into a reality, while implementation of several multilateral and intergovernmental projects remains "sluggish".

"In the years of SCO's existence, there is no mechanism to finance multilateral projects," Lukin said.

Still, he expressed the confidence that the SCO would play a larger role in economic sectors, particularly considering the interaction of the SCO, the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and the Chinese initiative on the Silk Road Economic Belt.

"Russia supports the idea of increasing SCO's role in implementation of the Silk Road Economic Belt project," Lukin said, noting that the project could help relieve the SCO of many economic problems.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed during Xi's visit to Moscow in early May to link each other's economic development initiatives, namely the EEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt initiatives, while the SCO is expected to play a key role in establishing such partnership.

According to Lukin, the linking of Russian and Chinese strategic projects is in need of special approaches of interaction and exchange among the EEU, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the SCO.

Some Russian experts have suggested adding particular functions to the SCO framework in order to steer the interaction between the EEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt, Lukin said.

"In that case, the SCO's role, especially its economic role, will become stronger," Lukin said, adding that the Russian side would act actively during relevant discussions in the upcoming 15th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO.

Moreover, he also noted that possible expansion of the SCO would be one of the key topics of discussion at the meeting, which is scheduled to be held in the Russian city of Ufa on July 9-10.

According to Lukin, the turning of India and Pakistan from the status of observers into full SCO members might give rise to new problems, but the expansion of the bloc would surely make it more influential and stimulate economic projects.

Meanwhile, the expansion would also reinforce cooperation on security issues like anti-terrorism and strengthen mutual trust and support among SCO member states, he said.

Lukin urged the SCO countries to cooperate in preserving world peace and justice, as well as the historical truth of World War II.

Russia and China in particular ought to join efforts against any attempt to falsify or distort historical facts, as both had played a decisive role in WWII victory and suffered the most, he said.

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