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Friday, March 16, 2018

Putin pressed a new “nuclear” lever against the United States: the SCO has expanded

Vladimir Putin at a summit of the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO) called “the eight”, whose members since June 9, consists of four nuclear powers, not to look back on America and more actively intervene in the settlement of regional conflicts, primarily in Afghanistan. “The internal situation in the United States discourages constructive work in international formats,” said the President, noting that the SCO countries because of their geographical position the most vulnerable to terrorists who settled in Afghanistan.

photo: kremlin.ru

The main event of the SCO summit in Astana, all participants clearly described the joining of six full members (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), India and Pakistan. This greatly increased not only the size of the organization, but first and foremost – its influence and power. “Of the eight member States, four are nuclear powers,” – said the host of the summit, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. And Alexander Lukashenko, presenting the observer country of the SCO, said that now “no one, nowhere and never will against the wishes of the members of the bloc to destabilize the situation in the world.”

However, the main heroes of the occasion – the leaders of India and Pakistan – tried not to look into each other’s eyes and seems to be nervously every time their countries are mentioned in the same bundle, using the word “and”.

In the SCO consider it a great success that the conflicting powers decided to join the organization, despite the poor bilateral relations. However, according to experts, with the accession of India and Pakistan will grow only nominal unit weight, the real effectiveness will fall, but before the special achievements in his activities, frankly, was not observed. Free trade area is not created, common development Bank, despite years of talk, has not appeared, the joint economic projects there. And even the security issues are solved is not so constructive, as was planned in 2001.

This passivity cannot be indifferent to China, which initiated the creation of SCO is not for the sake of joint gatherings with other leaders. China needs markets and benefits as well as access to transport infrastructure to realize its main project “One belt, one road”.

In his speech, the President of China, XI Jinping again called for the signing of agreements on the simplification of trade procedures, creating favourable conditions for international traffic, as well as reconstruction and construction of roads, shaping the modern “silk road”. He also called for the formation of the SCO Business Association e-Commerce and activation of works on creation of the Bank of the SCO. And to the governing bodies of the unit quickly moved, promised to allocate an additional 10 million yuan for its Secretariat.

It is noteworthy that the concept of “One belt, one road” in Astana praised all members of the organization, with the exception of Indian Prime Minister Narendra modi. Delhi, being jealous to Beijing and having the same interests, traditionally puts a spoke in the wheel all Chinese initiatives. According to experts, in the future this rivalry can also have a negative impact on the activities of Shanghai organization.

As for Putin, he spoke little about Economics and much about security issues. According to the Russian President, such an influential structure as the SCO should more actively intervene in the settlement of regional conflicts, particularly in Afghanistan, which shares borders with many members of the unit and clearly adds peace of mind to their neighbors. In this regard, GDP urged to revive not working with 2009, the contact group SCO-Afghanistan.

Putin recalled that the US and NATO 15 years of conducting operations against the Taliban, but the military and political situation in the country continues to deteriorate. “The US is now trying to persuade the Europeans to resume their active work in Afghanistan. But almost no one wants to go back to full-mode. These are the realities”, he added.

Of course, Putin’s words should not be regarded as a desire to send to Afghanistan military contingents of the member countries of the SCO. “Bet on a military solution to the Afghan conflict is unpromising” – he said, explaining that the contact group should work on building a dialogue between the Kabul government and opposition groups. However, the broad public response his proposal has not yet received. A speech by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani contained more pathos (“We are in the foreground and die to protect you!” – he said) than the willingness to sit down at the negotiating table and solve the problem.

In his speech, Putin also called for further expansion of the SCO. And while specific countries were not named, none of the participants of the summit do not doubt that it is first and foremost about Iran, who applied in 2008. Moscow believes that after signing the nuclear deal, there are no obstacles to accession of Iran to the Shanghai “eight” no. However, to obtain the consent of all members of the Association have not yet succeeded. The founding fathers of the SCO decided to see how the infusion of India and Pakistan, on the basis of the experience gained to examine the application of Iran in the next year. The Iranians are not offended: they foresaw such a development, therefore, has restricted its representation at the summit by Minister of foreign Affairs.


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