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TRANSCRIPT: Putin Speech at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Kremlin.ru – Bishkek, September 13, 2013)

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member countries, heads of state of observer countries, high representatives and summit guests,

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has been working for more than a decade now and has achieved some big results. It has established its place as an influential international organisation and plays an important part in global and regional politics.

In outlining our plans for the upcoming future, we need to take particular account of the processes underway in the global economy and international politics.

As you know, the G20 summit took place in St Petersburg just last week. We had substantial discussions of important issues such as speeding up global economic growth, creating new jobs, spreading the use of advanced technology, social sector financing, and developing high value-added production.

The measures and policy outlines the G20 has produced, and which it is my duty to inform you about, have practical interest for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Implementing them would help to make our economies stronger and more competitive.

Of course, we cannot separate economic issues from the situation in international politics. As you have already noted, Syria is at the centre of attention right now. We consider unacceptable any external military intervention in Syria’s affairs without the United Nations Security Council’s sanction.

The latest diplomatic efforts have helped to lower the immediate threat of a military operation. The initiative to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control is very important in this respect. Reports are coming in that Syria’s representative in the United Nations has announced that Syria wishes to become as from today a full-fledged party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

I think we should welcome this decision by the Syrian government. I hope that this will be a real step towards resolving the Syrian crisis. It confirms our Syrian partners’ serious intent to take this road.

In this context, close cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and a firm commitment to the rule of the norms and principles of international law and the UN’s leading role in global affairs are more important than ever today.

Restoring stability in Afghanistan is one of the biggest issues on the SCO’s agenda. We welcome the Afghan government’s efforts to promote national reconciliation and make preparations for the 2014 presidential election.

We are following attentively the process of transferring responsibility for the country’s security to Afghanistan’s law enforcement and security agencies. We see how much the Afghan government is doing to ensure that these agencies will be ready to take on this responsibility and meet the security challenges that the country faces today.

We are pleased to see Iran’s willingness to give its nuclear programme greater transparency. We believe that Iran, like any other country, has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including enrichment.

Colleagues, it is important to continue building up our economic cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. We need to increase our reciprocal trade, technology exchanges, and investment. We need to develop joint projects in agriculture and environmental protection.

In this respect we are working actively with the People’s Republic of China, given all of the trans-border issues we need to deal with. All of these areas of cooperation are open to the SCO observer countries and dialogue partners too.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Business Council has the mission of helping to expand direct contacts between our companies and business communities. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Interbank Consortium is a good example of multilateral cooperation in this area. It makes a big contribution to supporting joint infrastructure projects, spreading the use of resource-saving technology, and expanding use of our national currencies in mutual settlements.

We are giving priority attention to developing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s general transport system. Colleagues, I want to inform you that Russia is starting work now to modernise the Trans-Siberian Railway and Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM).

We are investing big credit resources and direct budget financing in these projects. We invite you to take part in them too. These railways’ transit potential could be put to full use in our organisation’s interests.

It is also important to continue work on the programme for coordinated development of the SCO member countries’ road networks. We expect that the Agreement on Creating Favourable Conditions for International Road Transport, which we will soon sign, will be of practical help in this area.

We need to get the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Energy Club working at the practical level. This would create new opportunities for carrying out promising energy sector projects between the SCO member countries, observer states and dialogue partners.

Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation university network is a successful example of our humanitarian cooperation. It brings together nearly 70 of our countries’ leading universities. We hope that the Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which we will sign at this summit, will give new impetus to our joint humanitarian projects.

In conclusion, I note that a solid final document, the Bishkek Declaration, has been prepared for this summit. I support the priority action areas that it outlines for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s work. They include drafting a development strategy for the organisation for the period through to 2025. We will participate most actively in this work.

I want to thank all of our Kyrgyzstani colleagues for this opportunity to meet on Kyrgyzstan’s hospitable soil, and for giving us good conditions for our work.

Thank you very much for your attention.

[featured image is file photo]

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