SCO can play major role in Silk Road, Xi says in Russia

Updated: 2015-07-09 06:37


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SCO can play major role in Silk Road, Xi says in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Ufa, Russia, July 8, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

President Xi Jinping confirmed on Wednesday an invitation for Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to visit China in September and attend the country's activities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

He also said the two countries should use the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a key platform to integrate China's Silk Road initiatives and Russia's aspirations under the Eurasian Economic Union framework.

Xi made the remarks in Ufa, capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia, during a meeting with Putin shortly after he arrived for two key annual summits involving groups in which China and Russia are major players.

The summits of the BRICS group of emerging economies-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-and the SCO, which groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, are scheduled to last until Friday.

Later on Wednesday, Xi met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of an expected decision to admit India and Pakistan as member states of the SCO during the summit.

Putin, speaking during his second meeting with Xi in the past two months, said Russia is fully aware of the economic and diplomatic difficulties it is dealing with, and believes the problems can be resolved by working with China.

The two summits come amid strained ties between Russia and the West over Ukraine and just weeks after the European Union extended the sanctions it imposed on Russia a year ago.

Li Xing, director of the Center of Eurasia Studies at Beijing Normal University, said Moscow is optimistic about its dealings with countries in Asia, especially China, as its diplomatic standoff with the West and the sanctions have undermined Russia's growth.

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