The Kremlin said on Tuesday that a regional summit this week where Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Asian leaders will present an “alternative” to the Western world.
Putin and Xi Jinping will join the leaders of India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and several other countries at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the Uzbek city of Samarkand on Thursday and Friday.
The SCO — made up of China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four former Soviet Central Asian countries — was established in 2001 as a political, economic and security organization to compete with Western institutions.
The meeting will be part of Xi’s first overseas visit since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and comes amid strained relations between Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine.
“The SCO offers a real alternative to Western-focused organizations,” Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow.
“All SCO members stand for a just world order,” he said, describing the summit as taking place “against the backdrop of massive geopolitical changes.”
The SCO, he said, “is the largest organization in the world, it includes half the population of our planet”.
Before attending the summit’s keynote session on Friday, Ushakov said Putin would hold talks with Xi, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday.
On Friday, he will also meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev.
Ushakov said the meeting with Xi Jinping is of particular importance, with important international and regional issues to be discussed, including the Ukraine conflict and growing Russia-China economic ties.
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