India will formally become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) within a week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today as he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the annual bilateral summit. Welcoming Modi, Putin said, “the most important thing is the trust and friendship in our relationship between our countries and our people.” “I am glad to have this opportunity to meet you and discuss the whole spectrum of bilateral relations and international relations,” the Russian president told Modi.
“As far as our international cooperation goes, one thing I would like to point out, in one week, India is becoming full fledged member of the SCO,” he said. “I would like to remind that process was launched in 2015 in Ufa, Russia. Russia has always supported this and given full assistance to it,” Putin said. The SCO is a political, economic, and military bloc founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. “Very soon, in one week, we are going to meet in Kazakhstan (for SCO)” where India’s membership will be confirmed, he told Modi.
Reciprocating the warm welcome, Modi said that he was privileged to have been able to visit Putin’s hometown as Prime Minister. “India, Russia friendship is very old, deep and based on trust. India and Russia have always been together on international issues,” he said. Modi thanked Putin for his “active role” in getting India SCO membership. “I thank you for all the initiatives taken,” he said. Putin noted that this year Russia and India mark the 70th anniversary since establishing diplomatic relations.
“Normally, in international relations there are ups and downs. But history is witness, there have been no ups and downs in Indo-Russia relations. We have always moved forward,” Modi said. Not just on bilateral issues, but even on international issues India and Russia have cooperated keeping the objective of Sarvajan Sukhaia, bahujan sukhay (for the welfare, happiness of all), he added.