MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov has called on Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states to join forces and fight transnational crime.
“Thanks to our efforts cooperation is strengthening in extradition, repatriation, evidence-gathering, and the confiscation of illegally obtained property,” Ivanov said at the meeting of high court representatives from SCO member states in Moscow, which opened on February 20 and runs through February 24.
“This also helps us develop effective barriers to corruption and money laundering,” he added.
Ivanov said the international regulations currently under development will enable SCO member states to operate “in a more effective, coordinated manner against dangerous transnational crime,” and urged SCO members to focus on bringing their laws and legal systems into closer alignment.
“Clearly, we can only counter global challenges and threats like drug trafficking, funding for terrorism, illegal arms trading, and economic crime, by working together,” he said, at a meeting of SCO states' supreme court representatives in Moscow.
Founded in 2001, the SCO comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The organization consolidates efforts to counter terrorism and radicalization among member countries, and also works on other policy areas such as politics and trade.
Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have “observer status,” while Belarus and Sri Lanka are classed as “dialog partners.” Ivanov noted that other countries’ continued interest in joining the SCO testified to the organization's relevance.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.