Putin pushes SCO countries to form energy forum
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reiterated on Wednesday a proposal that Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states form an energy forum, RIA Novosti reported.
Putin was speaking at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing.
Prime ministers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan gathered in the Chinese capital to discuss efforts to enhance economic and humanitarian cooperation within the SCO and formulate joint responses to challenges, including the ongoing global economic crisis.
"Energy traditionally holds a key position on the global agenda, which prompts me to remind you of Russia's proposal to set up a permanent mechanism for dialogue on the issue, a SCO energy club or forum," Putin said.
He said an informal exchange of opinions could promote energy cooperation in the region.
The Russian premier also urged coordinated action by SCO foreign ministries and security agencies on Afghanistan.
Putin also proposed establishing as soon as possible a SCO mechanism for counteracting drug trafficking, enhancing the efficiency of SCO anti-terrorism agencies and taking preventive measures to fight money-laundering.
The Russian prime minister said it would be necessary to speed up the development of mechanisms of financial support to projects being implemented within the SCO.
"Russia considers SCO development a key priority of its foreign policy," Putin said, pledging that Moscow would continue taking an active part in its activity in all directions.
On the sidelines of today's SCO forum, Putin will meet with his Kazakh counterpart, Karim Masimov, and is also expected to hold talks with Chinese leader Hu Jintao and Wu Bangguo, who heads the Chinese National People's Congress.
The SCO premiers are expected to adopt a number of documents, including a deal on cooperation between the six countries' customs officials and the SCO budget for 2010.
Delegations from SCO observer countries, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, are also taking part in the meetings.
The 2010 SCO prime ministerial meeting will be held in Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Igor Chudinov announced.