ASTANA (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, leaders of the SCO member states, namely Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, signed the decree on admitting India and Pakistan to the bloc.
"Today, new full members join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization… The expansion of the SCO will undoubtedly contribute to ensuring that it will become more powerful and influential in the political, economic and humanitarian spheres," Putin said at the SCO leaders’ meeting in Astana.
"Now, our task is to help the new partners to integrate into the extensive work ongoing within the SCO," Putin added.
Putin also said that the SCO members should work on combing economic cooperation efforts and national strategies to bring together the capacities of the existing integration projects in Eurasia, including the Eurasian Economic Community (EURASEC) and the One Belt, One Road initiative.
The topic will be discussed in detail at the forthcoming Eastern Economic Forum in Russia's Vladivostok set to take place on September 6-7, the SCO high-level conference on trade and economic cooperation in Moscow and the third forum on small business of the SCO and BRICS regions in Ufa on September 28-29, the Russian president stressed. "I take the opportunity to invite all our partners to take part in these events," Putin said.
The SCO is a political, military and economic alliance. Its two-day summit kicked off on Thursday in the Kazakh capital of Astana. The agenda of the summit includes issues related to cooperation in fight against international terrorism, security and the situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan.