Russia Backs Belarus’ Efforts to Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization
According to the Russian ambassador to Belarus Boris Gryzlov, Belarus’ potential accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will strengthen the emerging Eurasian axis and put it on the path of being a competing pole to the Collective West.
According to a report by TASS, Russia is in favor of Belarus’ efforts to join the SCO. Gryzlov relayed this info to TASS on September 12, 2022.
“Naturally, Russia completely supports Belarus’ intention to be part of the tightly-knit family of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which has for years been actively working in the interests of peace, security and stability in the region, promoting economic development and building a democratic and fair world order,” Gryzlov stated. The Russian ambassador added that he is confident in Belarus’ ability to make contributions to SCO.
“Membership in the SCO will give our closest ally [Belarus] a number of undoubted extra possibilities, which are especially important in the current situation,” Gryzlov added. Gryzlov believes these possibilities for cooperation lie in fields such as “economy, finance, trade, logistics, etc.” “Big prospects for cooperation will be opened in the areas of security and fight against crime, infrastructure development, environment protection and in many other areas of regional cooperation,” the Russian ambassador continued.
The Russian ambassador believes that Belarus joining SCO will put the organization much closer to achieving power pole status, effectively serving as a counterweight to supranational entities in the Collective West. “Russia and Belarus have a vast experience of constructive and fruitful cooperation within the Union State. The republic is our reliable partner within integration associations, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Bearing this in mind, Belarus’ accession to the SCO will promote further consolidation of the Euro-Asian region as a new pole of power,” the ambassador observed.
Gryzlov noted that after a meeting of foreign ministers from the SCO in Tashkent, Uzbekistan back in July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that there was a broad agreement about starting Belarus’s admission process to the organization at the next SCO summit. This summit is set to take place in Samarkand on September 15 and 16.
The SCO was first established in 2001. TASS highlighted which are the principled member states and which non-member states actively cooperate with it:
Shanghai Cooperation Organization now includes India, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia are observer countries, and Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka enjoy the partner status.
BLP previously reported on the SCO’s recent move to incorporate Iran into its fold. At the summit in Samarkand, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia will be granted partner status and Belarus will be considered for full SCO membership.
A new geopolitical reality is emerging on the world stage. The days of unipolarity, when the United States government could throw its weight around at will, are over. Now there is a competing power bloc to check its influence.
Will US foreign policymakers finally recognize this new geopolitical dynamic and consider a more rational foreign policy retrenchment?