SCO leaders support Putin’s peace plan for Ukraine

SCO leaders support Putin’s peace plan for Ukraine
Heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization say that the crisis in Ukraine is spilling beyond the borders of the country and needs immediate action, while stressing that the only solution to the conflict lies in dialogue and consensus.

At a press conference following the summit President Putin said the leaders had touched upon various issues of international politics, including those connected with the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, and added that the approaches to this settlement proved to be similar.

We are very satisfied by the fact that the approaches to basic directions of cooperation appear to be identical or very close,” Putin told reporters.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has confirmed that he, together with the leaders of Russia, China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, supported a peaceful settlement in Ukraine within the guidelines of the plan suggested by President Putin. “The only long-term solution to the problem is in political dialogue and consensus. It is necessary to emphasize the importance of the Minsk summit that took place on August 26. The step-by-step plan of conflict settlement proposed by President Putin has become an important document on the way of peaceful resolution of the crisis. We call upon all sides to strictly observe the letter of these documents,” Nazarbayev said.

The Dushanbe declaration also supports active measures to fight terrorism, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking, and leaders of the SCO nations expressed their readiness to assist all sides engaged in countering these threats. In its economic part the document provides for growing cooperation, trade and developing of the hi-tech sector as well as for mutual effort to ensure the food and energy security of the bloc.

In the same declaration the SCO leaders jointly supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and said that the conflict there could be settled only through the continuation of multi-sided and direct dialogue between the various parts of Syrian society. The heads of state added that all problems in the Middle East and North Africa should be solved purely by peaceful means.

Another document signed at the summit was the list of obligations for applicant states, and the general regulations for granting membership of the organization. The move opens a way into the bloc for new members with the most likely first applicants being India and Pakistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization unites Russia, China and ex-Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, all of which are Russia’s allies in trade, politics and defense. Such regional powers as India and Iran hold observer status in the organization.

The combined population of SCO member-states is 1.45 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population.