The 15th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit opened on 10 July 2015 in Ufa, Russia. The meeting, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on planning the organisation’s future development.
Membership in the group potentially offers India greater access to the energy resources of Central Asia.
Founded in 2001, the SCO has China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its full members. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan were observers, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.
The group is dominated by Russia and China and also includes former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Russia sees the organisation as a counterweight to Western alliances.
President Putin opened the annual summit by announcing the acceptance of India and Pakistan as members. He said Belarus would obtain observer status, joining Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia. He called for greater cooperation in fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan and the financing of terrorism.
Among the documents released during the summit were: SCO development blueprint, a border defence cooperation agreement and a declaration on the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II.