MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The pan-Eurasian Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) continued expansion would facilitate the resolution of complex global issues, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Chinese Xinhua.
"The international environment is complicated and multifaceted, and issues are not resolved by the mere fact that countries with different approaches to and views on various international challenges join our Organization. However, as we expect, their accession does create conditions for the issues to be resolved," Putin told the Xinhua news service on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
According to Putin, the SCO has become "highly demanded and attractive" in the region, and many countries have expressed willingness to join it.
"Indeed, as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization expands its areas of operation and its membership through the participation of the powerful countries I have just mentioned, it turns into a very powerful international association that commands respect and is relevant both in the region and worldwide," the president said.
A two-day summit of SCO leaders will start in Uzbekistan's capital of Tashkent later on Thursday.
The SCO is a political, economic and military alliance that includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan are expected to sign preliminary SCO membership memorandum at the Tashkent summit that will last through Friday and will become full-fledged members at the 2017 SCO summit in Kazakhstan.