UFA (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko, Daria Chernyshova – The SCO comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India, Pakistan, Iran, Mongolia and Afghanistan have observer status in the organization, while Turkey, Sri Lanka and Belarus are dialogue partners.
The expansion of the SCO is expected to be the main issue at the negotiating table during the Ufa summit. India and Pakistan applied for SCO membership in September 2014. Iran is a candidate for a full-fledged SCO membership, but this issue is pending the outcome of the currently ongoing nuclear talks.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the SCO would begin the process of integrating India into the organization.
The long-debated issue of the creation of an SCO Development Bank may be raised, but given the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and BRICS New Development Bank, the subject has less relevance this year.
Traditional security-related questions, such as combating drug trafficking and extremism in the region, are on the summit’s agenda. A new aspect is finding ways to counter the Islamic State militant group.
The SCO meeting coincides with the BRICS summit that began on Wednesday in the same city.
The last time the summits of both organizations coincided was in 2009 in Russia's city of Yekaterinburg.
The summits will be attended by the member heads of state, as well as many high ranking officials.
For the coverage of the summits in social networks please use the following hashtags #SCO #BRICS #SCO2015 #BRICS2015 #Ufa2015.