- Sputnik International, 1920
SCO Summit in Samarkand
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit takes place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15-16. Boosting security and stability in the region, as well as economic matters will be high on the agenda.

SCO Capable of Working Out Mechanism to Withstand Western Sanctions Pressure, Analyst Says

© AFP 2023 / ALEXANDER NEMENOVJournalists watch the live broadcast of the plenary session of the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on September 16, 2022, in the Summit's press centre.
Journalists watch the live broadcast of the plenary session of the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on September 16, 2022, in the Summit's press centre.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.09.2022
The participants of the Shanghai Cooperation Orgaization's summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand have adopted a joint declaration which many observers think marks the SCO's transition from a regional into a truly global alliance.
Marat Aitov, head of the department of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, talking exclusively to Sputnik on the sidelines of the SCO summit, explained why he believes the organization has grown into a real counterforce to the West.
Sputnik: We've heard a number of important announcements at the SCOs summit here. Vladimir Putin said that fundamental transformations have taken place in world politics and economy, and they are irreversible. Do you think that the leaders agree with this statement, and what does he mean by that, in your opinion?
Marat Aitov: Well, I believe they totally agree with his statement, because the world nowadays is experiencing a lot of changes. And those changes are not just small minor changes, but they are radical transformation, a radical transformation of the world orderwhich we used to see before, probably, some kind of events happened this year. He was also strongly supported by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who actually voted [for] his ideas for maintaining the world order, which actually benefits many countries, not only China, not only Russia, but the international community.
Sputnik: Since you mentioned China's position, Xi Jinping says that itis important to prevent attempts by external forces to organize color revolutions in SCO countries. How relevant is that for Central Asia in particular, and for which countries?
Marat Aitov: Central Asian countries have been experiencing a situation which actually reminds us of color revolutions. For example, we all saw the situation in Kazakhstan in January of this year, when there were some protests which turned into a very dangerous situation. And it could have led to a color revolution. Actually, it was some kind of color revolution, which the president of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, said were inspired from outside. So it was an outside interference. It was some terrorists which were trying to undermine the situation there. Therefore, I think that's vital for Central Asia too.
Participants attend the meeting in expanded format of the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Council (SCO-HSC) Summit, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.09.2022
SCO Summit in Samarkand
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Sputnik: As Uzbekistan’s president noted that there should be an effort to assist, to help Afghanistan. What kind of help doesthe country need at this moment and do you think that it's even possible at the moment, because there is a lack of recognition of the Taliban government. Will this happen soon, and what could we expect to see?
Marat Aitov: First of all, Afghanistan is experiencing probably the worst humanitarian and socioeconomic crisis in its history, because Afghan national assets were frozen. It's almost $10 billion,which were frozen mostly in Western countries. And nowadays there is some negotiating ongoing on how to unfreeze these assets. But the Afghan people need humanitarian help right now. Concerning the international recognition of the Taliban government, we could note that more than 30 countries have already conducted some negotiations with the Taliban, includingthe United States of America and some Western countries. So, we have a dialog right now. And as [Uzbek] President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted, it's very necessary not to isolate Afghanistan again, as the international community did in the 1990s, when the isolation, as we've seen, led to nothing, it led to the situation and it led to Afghanistan becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. Therefore, it's in our hands to prevent a repeat of this situation.
Sputnik: A lot has been said about the economy. I heard several leaders talking about economic sanctions being used as a tool against countries that do not agree with the West's policies. Do you think SCO countries will be able to withstand Washington's pressure when it is applying all these sanctions?
Marat Aitov: The issue of the sanctions is too complicated. I personally see that even in the West, there is no common position towards this issue, because some of the countries are actually voicing their concern that the economic sanctions could worsen the situation in their countries. Therefore, in my opinion, first the West will have to decide whether they are going to continue this policy or not. In my opinion, they will eventually come to the idea that usage of this kind of policy will not help. And coming to the SCO countries, well, the SCO countries have the Shanghai spirit, which is actually mutual trust, mutual help in situations when they are facing difficulties. In my opinion, the Shanghai family, which is growing nowadays with Iran joining, they could probably work out some mechanisms to act calmly and to withstand this kind of pressure, because this pressure is actually influencing everybody.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the meeting in expanded format of the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Council (SCO-HSC) Summit, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.09.2022
SCO Summit in Samarkand
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Sputnik: You are seeing the organization of this summit from the inside, from Samarkand itself. What do you see as the main thing that was achieved here?
Marat Aitov: First of all, we were able to gather 14 heads of state on one platform after years of the difficulties emanating from the pandemic. Second of all, we have a consensus. We are adopting the Samarkand declaration, which will identify the main approaches of the SCO countries to the international system. And it will determine the main priorities of the SCO for the next time. President of Uzbekistan Mirziyoyev actually mentioned that we need to develop a strategy for the SCO’s future to 2040. This means that the SCO is a long-time project. It's a long-time regional organization turning into an international organization,and its influence, its attractiveness is actually increasing.
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