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09 March 2023, 13:38

Belarus' FM: SCO is one of the pillars of a multipolar world

Sergei Aleinik
Sergei Aleinik

MINSK, 9 March (BelTA) – Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is one of the pillars of a multipolar world, and it is important for Belarus to become a full member of the organization, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik after the meeting of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko with the SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming in Minsk on 9 March, BelTA has learned.

According to the minister, the current status of Belarus as an SCO observer does not provide an opportunity to fully participate in all the formats of the organization. For example, SCO foreign ministers' meetings are held with the participation of the SCO member states only. The same applies to other formats in the field of security, defense, economy and interbank cooperation. “Full membership will open the door to this organization more widely for us and let us fully participate in all formats of the organization without exception. We see serious prospects not only for economic cooperation but also for political and diplomatic interaction. This is very important today, because the SCO is one of the main pillars of a multipolar world. It is very important to be involved in multipolarity strengthening from the SCO position. The same is true about the cultural and humanitarian dimension.”

The minister stressed that Belarus attaches great importance to the development of cooperation with the SCO. It started in 2010, with Belarus' engagement as a dialogue partner. In 2015 the country got its status upgraded to an observer one. In 2022 Belarus officially applied to become an equal member of the SCO. “This application was expedited, within two and a half months considered and politically approved at the summit of SCO heads of state in September 2022 in Samarkand. After that, we actively engaged in the process of legal registration of our full-fledged membership. Many rounds of consultations were held with SCO member states and the organization's secretariat. A protocol on Belarus' accession to the SCO was signed in January 2023. The document defines the mechanisms of our accession. The corresponding memorandum has been prepared,” the minister explained. According to him, the process of negotiations on the memorandum with the SCO member states is running within the schedule. “We stick to the accelerated format of accession. There are technical points that we regulate with the SCO member states. We expect to complete this process in 2023,” he said.

According to Sergei Aleinik, Belarus has always been active in the SCO in all dimensions of the organization's work: policy and diplomacy, trade and economy, culture and humanitarian affairs. After all, the SCO accounts for 70% of our country's trade.

“We see great prospects and potential for this cooperation. We expect to participate actively in all dimensions, not only in trade, but also in industrial cooperation. Today's agenda of the organization includes issues of industry, energy, interbank cooperation, alternative settlements, which are very important to respond to the illegal restrictive measures that are used by Western countries. There is a lot of work in the area of transport and development of transit-logistic chains,” the minister said.

He is convinced that Belarus' accession to the SCO as a full-fledged member will give a new impetus to the development of the organization and cooperation with its members. After all, our country always strives to actively express itself at international forums and come up with initiatives. For example, the Belarusian president initiated a joint summit of the CSTO and the SCO on the situation in Afghanistan in 2021. “This is a good example of how the Belarusian initiatives are reflected in the work of the organization,” the minister said.

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