Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia will continue to defy Western sanctions.
His speech at a fictitious summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was his first before a global gathering following the Russian mutiny last month.
Mr. Putin supported SCO trade agreements in local currencies, which were considered as a means of avoiding sanctions.
The SCO summit in 2023 is essentially being run by India.
Russia “counters all these external sanctions, pressures, and continues to develop as never before,” Mr. Putin declared, using the platform to deliver a message of defiance to the West.
Since the Wagner mercenary squad launched a short-lived mutiny in late June, he has made a number of public appearances, but this was the first occasion he was spotted with a group of world leaders.
More than 80% of transactions between Chinese and Russian citizens, he continued, was conducted in roubles and yuan, and he urged other SCO members to adopt the same practice.
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, urged SCO members to increase commerce, connectivity, and technological cooperation among other things.
He didn’t mention the Ukraine conflict or China’s escalating assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific. Due to its previously non-aligned status, India had to walk a fine diplomatic line because of its growing links to the West.
Just a few days earlier, the US welcomed Mr. Modi on a state visit to Washington with open arms.
India’s prime minister asked the SCO countries to work together to combat international terrorism.
Some nations grant terrorists shelter and use cross-border terrorism as a tool in their agendas. SCO should not be afraid to criticize such nations, according to Mr. Modi.
Such words are almost generally taken to be directed at Pakistan, a neighbor. While discussing regional security, Mr. Modi omitted to mention China, India’s other neighbor with which it has long-standing tense relations.
In 2020, terrible battles took place along the long-disputed border between China and India. Tensions continue.
Despite Delhi’s official denials, the West is beginning to perceive India as a counterbalance to China. At the SCO, it stayed away from doing so once more.
The significance of maintaining regional peace and security was underlined by the Chinese President Xi Jinping. He urged SCO members to “move in the right direction and strengthen their unity and trust among themselves.”
Maintaining stability in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control after US soldiers left the country two years ago is one issue on which all the members appear to be in complete agreement.
More details on how SCO states intend to cooperate on Afghanistan will be revealed in a joint statement that will be released later.
In an effort to counteract Western dominance in the region, China, Russia, and four Central Asian nations established the SCO in 2001. In 2017, Pakistan and India joined the group.
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