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Moratorium on admission to Shanghai Six to hold - FM Lavrov

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The freeze on the admission of new members to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will continue, but observer states will be offered closer cooperation, Russia's foreign minister said Thursday.
BISHKEK, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - The freeze on the admission of new members to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will continue, but observer states will be offered closer cooperation, Russia's foreign minister said Thursday.

The SCO, which comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and has Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia as observers, is holding a summit in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

"Everyone agreed that the moratorium should be preserved for some time yet," Sergei Lavrov said, adding that participants in the Bishkek summit agreed to involve observer states more actively in practical projects.

"It is quite possible that the energy club being created will be open to companies from observer countries," he said.

The bloc, which primarily addresses security issues, is seen by many as a counterbalance to NATO influence in the region.

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