MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russia expects that India and Pakistan will soon become full-fledged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a post-Soviet Eurasian security bloc, Russia’s top diplomat said Wednesday.
India and Pakistan already have observer status in the SCO. But those states have applied to become full-fledged members, and final decisions on their accession should be made “in the foreseeable future,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a meeting with his Indian counterpart.
The bloc, founded in Shanghai in 2001, aims to consolidate efforts to counter terrorism and radicalization among member countries, and to coordinate work in other areas such as politics and trade.
Currently, the organization’s full-fledged members are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia also have observer status.