India will lend more weight and strength the Shanghai regional group when it joins it as a full member, said External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.
“India has something substantial to offer to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in terms of strengthening the group,” Mr. Krishna said at a joint press conference with his Russian and Chinese counterparts after the 11th trilateral meeting in the RIC format here on Friday.
“India, with its billion-strong population, plays a very important role in the Shanghai regional group, where it has an observer status, and therefore India has expressed the desire to be involved in the organisation much more than it is today,” he added.Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow supported granting full membership to India, as well as to Pakistan, “which has also sent in its application.”
He said the SCO came up for discussion at the current RIC meeting and it was reiterated that the SCO is an “open” organisation.
Mr. Lavrov said the Shanghai group is now finalising legal, organisational and financial aspects of admitting new members. He expressed the hope that all formalities will be completed “in a short time and we can take the decision to admit India and Pakistan.”
Earlier this year, Russian diplomats said the SCO still lacked consensus on the group’s expansion.
Mr. Lavrov said Russia welcomed India’s participation as observer in a range of SCO activities, including the energy club and India’s joining of the SCO anti-terrorist structure, as well as other projects in transportation, new technologies, agriculture, science and education.
“There is no bar to India’s greater involvement in the SCO,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.
The Hindu : News / International : Russia backs India's bid for the Shanghai group
first time heard of RIC, RIC apart from BRICS,
RIC can stand for future anti-western stronghold group.