“Greater Eurasia”, Minsk’s turn to the East: the main results of the SCO summit

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko

The 24th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has ended in Astana. During the meeting of the council of heads of state of the organization, Belarus was admitted to the organization. Following the events, the Astana Declaration and a number of documents were signed. In addition to the SCO members, the discussions were attended by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, CIS head Sergey Lebedev and CSTO Secretary General Imangali Tasmagambetov. The summit’s guest of honor was Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The main results are in the NEWS.ru article.

How the meeting of heads of state of the SCO member states went

On the morning of July 4, the atmosphere in Astana’s government quarter was strikingly different from the day before. It seemed as if martial law had been declared in the city center. Armored vehicles and groups of people in camouflage were stationed at intersections. Police officers were on duty every 20 meters. All approaches to the Palace of Independence, where the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State was to take place, were blocked with concrete blocks and metal fences.

Zhumeken Nazhimedenov Street, along which government motorcades were supposed to approach the summit site, was completely cordoned off. A huge black armored vehicle, the Cobra, with a machine gun nest on the roof, was parked at the intersection. Plainclothes police officers and state security officers were bustling around. At the summit press center, which was located in the pyramid of the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation across the street from the SCO leaders’ meeting place, all journalists were checked with a metal detector. 

 

Armored car "Cobra"Photo: Sergey Petrov/NEWS.ruArmored car “Cobra”

 

Around 10 a.m., presidential limousines with entourages began to pull up to the Independence Palace. Although the leaders of 10 states participated in the morning session, journalists were only shown the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping. The Russian leader, buttoning his jacket and adjusting his cuffs as he walked, briskly entered the hall where the host of the meeting, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, was waiting for him. The guest from the Celestial Empire walked unhurriedly and shook the hand of the Kazakh president. Then he headed to his place, located in front of a huge sky-blue billboard with the summit’s symbols, for a group photo.

The event began with a ceremony to sign documents on  the admission of Belarus, which previously had observer status, to the SCO. Tokayev noted in his welcoming speech that Minsk had successfully and quickly completed all the procedures required to join the organization. 

“Alexander Grigorievich, I sincerely congratulate you,” Tokayev said, addressing the President of Belarus, when all nine leaders of the SCO member states signed the document.

Belarusian political scientist Valery Karbalevich suggested that Minsk joined the SCO not for economic reasons.

“It’s more a matter of PR effect. Belarus has shown that there are countries with which it has partnership relations. Now the head of state can meet with foreign leaders more often. Minsk has also demonstrated a ‘turn to the East’, which was caused by the political situation,” the expert expressed his opinion in a conversation with NEWS.ru.

 

President of Belarus Alexander LukashenkoPhoto: akorda.kzPresident of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko

 

What decisions were made at the SCO summit in Astana

The central event of the meeting was the signing of the Astana Declaration , which defines the position of the association on a number of current issues on the international agenda. The leaders of the participating countries summed up the results of the SCO’s activities and set guidelines for the development of the organization.

Ahmed Jubayer

My Name Is Ahmed Jubayer.I am 23 Years Old.I Live In Bangladesh. I am a Student Of A Government University. I am A Part-time Worker.I am a Online Reporter.its my Profession.I Work Here Regularly.

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