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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Russia Does Not Plan to Transform SCO Into Military Bloc — Putin

September 14th, 2006, 12:41

ussia has no plans to transform the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) into a military bloc, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with foreign political scientists last Saturday, Interfax news agency reports.

“We are not going to turn the Shanghai Cooperation Organization into a military-political bloc. It is an open organization,” he said in answers posted on his official website on Wednesday.

While tackling issues related to SCO enlargement, it is necessary “to take into account a complex line-up of forces in Asia and contradictions between various countries,” he said.

“We do not want to burden the organization with these contradictions. For this reason, we will take a highly responsible and careful approach to the problems of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s enlargement,” Putin said.

The SCO has sound development prospects, he said.

“Given the fact that a large, an ever-growing, number of issues is being debated and put on the agenda within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, its authority and role in the world will grow,” the president said.

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