Question: Mr Putin, how do you assess the future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and what influence does this organization have on solving important and complex problems of the present day?
Vladimir Putin: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has only just formed as an organization, and so it is just starting to make its first steps. But this work has always taken place very energetically and effectively. The future of this organization will depend on who productive our joint efforts are in areas of cooperation. One of these areas is the economic sphere, and here there is a large field for joint activity – these are countries of the same region, all neighbouring countries. They are united by common problems and common interests, common traditions. Today, the People’s Republic of China has made a serious step in the arrangement of this cooperation. It has given everyone an example, by reporting the decision of the Chinese government to invest almost one billion U.S. dollars on developing trade between our countries. We have many joint infrastructural interests, which we can solve by joint efforts. Finally, there are issues of security, the war on terrorism, and the war on the distribution of drugs. All these are very important areas that are on the agenda for the entire international community. By uniting regional efforts, we can achieve a serious result. The authority of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will depend on this.