ST.PETERSBURG, June 23, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) is interviewed by President of Xinhua News Agency Cai Mingzhao in St.Petersburg of Russia, June 17, 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an hour-long exclusive interview with Xinhua President Cai Mingzhao ahead of his upcoming visit to China, elaborated his views on bilateral ties, China-Russia trade, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and international cooperation, among other issues. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become a platform for its members to carry out diverse cooperation and also a popular, attractive and authoritative international institution, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Xinhua.
The SCO was originally set up with rather low-key goals, which were to solve all kinds of border cooperation problems both difficult and easy, he said in an hour-long exclusive interview here with Xinhua President Cai Mingzhao ahead of his Saturday state visit to China.
Now the mechanism has been used to settle other problems and evolved into a platform for its six members to carry out cooperation in multiple areas, including political affairs as well as infrastructure construction, Putin added, noting that security and drugs have also been covered.
"The SCO has become a popular and attractive organization in the region. Many countries around the world have expressed willingness to join it," he said.
At this year's summit in Tashkent, Putin added, the SCO will formally implement the decision made last year at the Ufa summit on granting membership to India and Pakistan, and also discuss the participation of other countries in the SCO mechanism.
The expansion of its functions and membership has turned the SCO into an authoritative and popular organization not only in the region but also in the world at large, said the Russian president.
Noting that some countries hold different standpoints on certain issues, Putin acknowledged that their accession into the SCO is not expected to solve those issues.
But that will pave "the way for the settlement of those issues," he stressed. "We are full of expectations for that."