SAMARKAND — Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the country’s priorities in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization when addressing the SCO summit in Samarkand on Sept. 16, BelTA learned.
“Belarus’ priorities in the SCO remain unchanged: effective cooperation with partners to strengthen regional security, intensive development of economic cooperation and expansion of humanitarian ties,” he said.
Separately, Aleksandr Lukashenko identified a number of areas of cooperation.
About new challenges in business
On the agenda is the coordination of joint actions and the development of a collective response to new challenges and threats in the economy. “We stand for the development of connectivity, the creation of combined green corridors and the further introduction of an integrated traffic management system using digital technologies,” said the Belarusian leader.
The President expressed his belief that the time is favorable for the logistics and infrastructure projects already underway connecting Europe with Asia, including the New Eurasian Land Bridge initiative.
For trade development
During its 20-year history, the organization has done a lot to create favorable conditions for the development of trade and investment. “Belarus sees the enormous potential of the SCO in terms of promoting trade and economic cooperation,” emphasized Aleksandr Lukashenko.
According to him, the most popular areas of such cooperation are industrial and technological cooperation; digital transformation and artificial intelligence; green economy and climate adaptation; Removal of unjustified barriers to trade.
“This will ensure alignment of national strategies and long-term plans for stable and accelerated development,” the president said.
“Belarus is interested in cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear energy and in the use of various inexpensive and environmentally friendly technologies,” the head of state added.
About banks and finance
Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to reconsider the state of cooperation in the banking and financial sector.
“The illegitimate sanctions, the disconnection of international payment systems and other illegitimate restrictions require the harmonization of payment systems, increasing the share of national currencies in trade and creating its own financial mechanisms within the SCO. This approach will offer not only freedom of choice, but also freedom of action,” said the head of state.
For food security
Belarus is traditionally strong when it comes to food security. In a number of areas, Belarusian agribusiness has achieved world-class results, and the quality of domestic products is well known throughout the organization’s countries and beyond. “We are willing to actively participate in joint work to ensure the food security of our family, the SCO family, including cooperation in smart agriculture, agricultural innovation, precision agricultural technology and resource-saving technology,” said the head of state.
For international cooperation
Minsk also stands for the expansion of international cooperation and the development of cooperation between the SCO and other regional organizations such as the CSTO, CIS and EAEU.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that ultimately this could lay a foundation for further strengthening the Eurasian partnership based on the concept of “integration of integrations”.
On the humanitarian dimension
Belarus attaches great importance to the humanitarian dimension of the SCO. Cooperation in the development of traditional and innovative medicine, including telemedicine, manufacturing of medicines and medical devices, has a special role to play, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized at the summit.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also touched on sport: “The Russian President was very clear on this subject. Sport should unite countries and peoples. Now, unfortunately, it has been massively politicized by the West.”
In order to strengthen the authority of member states and the competitiveness of athletes at the international level, the Belarusian side proposes to study the possibility of holding international competitions in summer Olympic sports in 2024 and winter sports in 2026 within the framework of the SCO.
Belarus is ready to constructively cooperate in the fight against terrorism, separatism, extremism, illegal trafficking in drugs, weapons, nuclear and radioactive materials, organized crime and illegal migration, the President said.
He also expressed his support for the idea of establishing a SCO Universal Center for Security Threats and Challenges at the Regional Counter-Terrorism Center in Tashkent.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the interaction and rapprochement of Belarus with the SCO is inextricably linked with the formation of the security and cooperation architecture of the entire Eurasian continent. “Thanks to its political influence, economic power and internal strength, our organization is quite ready to contribute more actively and persistently to building an international policy based on the principles of indivisible security and the diversity of paths of progressive development,” he said.