Putin thanks SCO leaders for support during foiled Wagner mutiny

Moscow/New Delhi/Beijing, July 4 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked global leaders at a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting on Tuesday for their support after he faced an armed rebellion by the Wagner paramilitary group last month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday thanked world leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit for their support after

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the online SCO summit, marking the first international address by Putin since the failed coup on June 23.

As per several observers, the coup attempt exposed vulnerabilities within Putin’s regime.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues from the SCO countries who expressed support for the actions of the Russian leadership to protect the constitutional order life and safety of citizens. We highly appreciate it,” Putin told leaders taking part in the Eurasian virtual meeting, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

“The Russian people are more consolidated than ever. The Russian political circles and the whole of society clearly demonstrated the solidarity and high responsibility for the fate of the fatherland by speaking out as a united front against the attempted armed rebellion.”

Putin warned that a hybrid war was being waged against Russia, but said Moscow was successfully coping with pressures from abroad and stressed that the Kremlin would counter all sanctions and provocations.

During his speech, Putin welcomed Iran’s accession as a full member of the SCO and congratulated Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after India’s Modi announced the bloc’s latest addition.

“New countries joining the group underlines the importance of the group,” Modi said as he launched the virtual summit. “The SCO can become an important voice in reforming other global institutions, including the United Nations.”

He said over past two decades, the SCO had become an “important platform for peace, prosperity, and development across the Eurasian region.”

The Indian leader warned that some countries were using cross-border terrorism and harboring terrorists, apparently directed at Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who was also in attendance.

“The SCO should not hesitate to criticize such countries. The SCO should condemn terrorism. There is a need for decisive action to deal with it.”

During the last Eurasian summit held in the coastal Indian city of Goa in May, the foreign ministers of the South Asian neighbors refused to hold bilateral talks, with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar accusing his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of being “a spokesperson of a terrorism industry.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, called on SCO members to focus on “pragmatic cooperation to speed up economic recovery” and urged nations to reject the “building barriers and walls” and “de-coupling,” according to Chinese state media.

Xi said Beijing sought to work with member states to implement the so-called Global Development Initiative, China’s latest strategy for global peace and security.

Xi urged SCO countries to rally together “in the right direction of economic globalization” by rejecting “protectionism, unilateral sanctions, and overstretching the national security concept,” according to Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese president called on leaders to “oppose hegemonism and power politics” and work towards “making the system of global governance fairer and more equitable.”

He urged nations to promote the modernization of societies through concerted efforts to “advance equal rights, equal opportunities, and fair rules for all.”

Established in 2001, the SCO focuses on regional security, the fight against terrorism in the region, ethnic separatism and religious extremism.

Apart from the nine member states – China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – the bloc currently has three observers – Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia – and six dialogue partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. EFE

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