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Russia's Bashkiria preparing for BRICS, SCO summits

Ufa, the capital of Russia's Volga republic of Bashkiria, is due to host the summits of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) comprising China, Russia and four Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - on July 8-10.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will begin on Wednesday a "marathon" of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summits.

According to presidential aide Yury Ushakov, the Russian leader is to hold 11 bilateral meetings and one tripartite meeting (Russia-Mongolia-China).

The events of the BRICS summit will begin already on Wednesday. The sides plan to sign the Ufa declarations and an action plan, the Kremlin aide said.

"The Ufa declarations that will be adopted after the summits reflect this issue. In particular, three most important theses are fixed there," Ushakov said, stressing that Russia and other member-states of BRICS and SCO have a common stance in this issue.

The first thesis is that these countries "see no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis," Ushakov said. The second thesis is devoted to the need for diplomatic negotiations.

"And these countries, as the documents stress, demand that the conflicting parties in the crisis implement in full all the 13 points of the comprehensive plan that was approved in Minsk on February 12," Ushakov said.

The Kremlin aide noted that these points of the Ufa declarations have been already approved and the leaders of the countries at the summit will "carry out a more detailed analysis of the situation in Ukraine."

Upon Moscow's initiative, a Strategy of economic partnership of BRICS countries up to 2020 will be also adopted.

The SCO summit will be held on July 10 and will be attended by the six member-states and also observer states. A decision on the accession of India and Pakistan to the group is expected to be adopted, Ushakov said. This membership will be finalized in 2016, he added.

India and Pakistan, which have observer status in the organisation together with Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan, submitted applications for the full membership last year.

"After that, as we hope, the membership of these two countries in the SCO will be finalized and we will be able to talk about our Group of Eight participants," the Kremlin aide said.

"We will have a kind of our Group of Eight that will be apparently expanded and joined by Iran," Ushakov added. He said the decision on Iran's bid will be taken after the UN sanctions against the country are lifted.

At the SCO summit, a total of 14 decisions will be adopted, and 11 of them will be signed. Tajikistan's representative Rashid Alimov will be appointed the new secretary general of the organization.

The sides also plan to approve a strategy of the SCO development up to 2025 and sign a declaration on consolidated approaches of the member-states to the key international issues.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 08Jul15]

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