Summit with Putin, Xi to present ‘alternative’ for the West: Kremlin


Russian President Vladimir Putin with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting on the sidelines of a BRICS summit, in Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 13. — Reuters/File
  • Putin and Xi will be joined by leaders from India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran.
  • The meeting will be part of Xi’s first overseas trip since the early days of COVID.
  • Putin will hold talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday.

MOSCOW: A regional summit this week where Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet China’s Xi Jinping and other Asian leaders will present an “alternative” for the Western world, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

Putin and Xi will be joined by the leaders of India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran and several other countries for 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 Central Asian countries of the Soviet Union — was founded in 2001 as a political, economic and security organization to rival Western institutions.

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The meeting will be part of Xi’s first foreign trip since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and comes with relations between Russia and the West shattered by the conflict in Ukraine.

“The SCO offers a real alternative to Western-oriented organizations,” Kremlin foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow.

“All members of the SCO stand for a just world order,” he said, describing the summit took place “against the backdrop of large-scale geopolitical changes.”

The SCO, he said, “is the largest organization in the world, it comprises half the population of our planet”.

Putin will hold talks with Xi, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday, Ushakov said, before attending the summit’s main session on Friday.

On Friday, he will also meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev.

“The meeting with Xi is of particular importance, important international and regional topics will be discussed,” including the conflict in Ukraine and the growing economic ties between Russia and China, Ushakov said.

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