Putin: Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a Key Force in a Multipolar World

The SCO has been strengthening its role on the global stage, according to the Russian president

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is expanding and becoming a major power center in a world that is moving towards a multipolar system.

Putin made this statement during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday at the SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The SCO members represent approximately 20% of the global GDP. Established in 2001, the grouping initially comprised China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined in 2017, and Iran became the latest member last year.

“I would like to recall that our countries were behind the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” Putin told Xi.

The Russian leader emphasized that with the expansion of the SCO membership, the organization has “strengthened its role as one of the key pillars of a fair multipolar world order.” 

Putin pointed out that Belarus is poised to join the SCO as the tenth full member.

SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming stated last month that with Belarus’s entry into the group, the number of SCO member states will reach a “historic double-digit breakthrough.”

The secretary general highlighted that after over 20 years of development, the SCO has evolved from a regional mechanism for meetings of heads of state into a significant and comprehensive international organization.

Currently, 14 countries hold SCO dialogue-partner status, allowing them to participate in the organization’s specialized events at the invitation of its members.

In May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that Algeria had applied to become a dialogue partner of the SCO. According to the minister, Laos has also submitted an application. He stated that both countries would be eligible for SCO membership after they attain both dialogue-partner and observer status.