Reports on the All-Belarusian People's Assembly flew to many countries around the world. But news from Belarus doesn't often hit the headlines, even in Russia. All main Russian TV channels are present in Belarus, including the one broadcasting our program. However, not the same can be said about Belarusian channels. The story about how one of Belarusian TV channels has been attempting to get airtime in the cable network of Moscow is proverbial. This has lasted since the times of the Moscow mayor Luzhkov, if I'm not mistaken. And the same goes to other regions of Russia! The topic is still relevant and is still raised from the rostrum by President Lukashenko.
When it comes to the EU or far-reaching states, we can definitely say that Belarusian channels will not get there! But is it necessary at all? Life is going on and we must use the available modern means. Nowadays, 60 percent of residents of European countries believe the main source of information is TV, thank God. But almost half don't agree with them preferring the Internet.
So let's report television news via the Internet to British, Russians, Indians and people from other countries! This is a very affordable way to convey information without barriers. We assume that this is our reaction to the 5th All-Belarusian People's Assembly, and in the next five years, we do need to develop Internet broadcasting. And given a little biased relation to the country Belarus needs to deliver more information about itself. Whether we like it or not, we are dependent on the outside world and on the opinion formed about our country. After all, it is the authoritative steps in politics that made it possible for Belarus to become an observer in the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), which has recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Along with Belarus, the SCO has other observers such as India and Pakistan - by the way, the possessors of nuclear weapons. SCO member states' population is about 3 billion people, almost half the world's population! China heavily contributes to this figure. And the most important events of the SCO summit for Belarus were the talks of Alexander Lukashenko with Chairman of the Chinese People's Republic and the Prime Minister of India - the leaders of the world's largest countries. Evgeny Gorin has more details.
Six core members of the SCO and the 12 partners and observers. This photography will go down in history not only in view of the anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The results of the summit suggest that the SCO is one of the largest platforms for security and economic cooperation of Eurasian countries. Many nations would like to become observers in the SCO. On the eve of the summit Israel, Egypt and Syria sent observer status applications.
Islam Karimov, President of Uzbekistan:
The meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is declared open.
The SCO meets its 15th anniversary in perfect geopolitical form. The main topics of the summit are the expansion and strengthening of the organization. Already next year, India and Pakistan will complete all procedures and become full participants in the initiative. It seemed earlier that one is not able to bring them to one negotiating table. After the Shanghai Six turns into Eight, the GDP of the Shanghai organization will soar almost twice, to 20 trillion dollars. And this market will be able to compete with such monsters as the Transatlantic and Transpacific trade partnership.
The status of Belarus in the SCO is unique. The Republic is the only European state with the observer status in this organization. It was China who insisted on such an exception for a strategic partner.
The PRC and Belarus are closely cooperating, which is evidenced by the number of joint projects and a credit line of 14 billion US dollars.
Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus:
The People's Republic of China and the Shanghai organization can count on the support of Belarus in any issue concerning the organization today. Belarus is prepared to be the "western gateway" of the organization. And we know how to keep our word. You saw this during the last visit to Belarus, where we visited the construction site of the Great Stone industrial park. You called it the pearl of the Great Silk Road. We will do everything to ensure that this project, which you supported, is filled with economic content.
The Chinese leader demonstrates good knowledge of what is happening in Belarus. Besides ceremonial greetings, he congratulates Alexander Lukashenko on the successful holding of the fifth All-Belarusian Assembly.
Xi Jinping, Chairman of the People's Republic of China:
I am confident that under your leadership, new progress will be made in Belarus. Belarusian-Chinese relations are rapidly gaining momentum and we support each other on any matter.
The dynamism of Belarusian-Indian relations matches those between Belarus and China: a service center for BelAZ in Nagpur, a joint facility to assemble MAZ buses in India and an agreement to create in Belarus four factories for the production of medicines.
By 2018, Belarus and India plan to increase trade turnover to one billion dollars.
Of course, we need to create some kind of an economic road map for this $1 billion, to reach this milestone. We have very serious bilateral projects, which are now being implemented in the fields of pharmacology, in the defense sector, and in other fields.
Participation in the SCO in the era of recurring economic crises of the world is a form of overcoming them.
Evgeny Gorin, correspondent:
For Belarus a dialogue with the SCO is an ability to connect to inter-regional Asian projects, both in the areas of security and economy. This is obvious, given the favorable transit position of our country between East and West.
First, the SCO is a promising area for the promotion of domestic products to new markets, as well as for the attraction of investments. To increase trade ties in the region is one of the goals of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Second, Belarus has hopes that the SCO and the Eurasian Economic Union may establish a free trade zone.
As a country-observer in the SCO, we're not going to watch the game "from the bench". Belarus is ready to become an active field player in the areas covered by the organization and make a significant contribution to its work for the benefit of our peoples.
The summit resulted in the signing of a number of documents defining the further development of the organization’s strategy. The chairmanship of the SCO moved from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan. The following year, Astana will welcome the members of the organization.