Ufa: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Ufa on Wednesday on a three-day visit to attend the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summits, on the sidelines of which he is likely to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

PM Narendra Modi will arrive in Russia on Wednesday. Reuters

PM Narendra Modi will arrive in Russia on Wednesday. Reuters

An announcement with regard to India’s membership of the six-nation grouping of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is expected during the SCO summit on 9-10 July.

A top Russian official on Tuesday said the process of India’s membership will be completed by next year, along with that of Pakistan, to make it an eight-member body.

As of now, India has observer status in the 19-year-old grouping whose focus is on boosting connectivity, counter-terrorism cooperation, bolstering cooperation in energy sector, enhancing trade and dealing with drug trafficking.

India was made an observer in 2005 and it applied for membership last year. Pakistan also is an observer and is likely to be made a member.

“India and Pakistan are not joining the SCO tomorrow. The process of engaging them is beginning,” Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.

He said their admission demands the coordination of a working memorandum and the two countries also need to join 28 key documents of the group.

“After that, as we hope, the membership of these two countries in the SCO will be finalised and we will be able to talk about our Group of Eight participants,” he told Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Modi will attend the SCO summit.

Ushakov said the process of the two countries’ accession to the SCO will kick off this week at the summit here, the Tass news agency reported.

“The membership of India and Pakistan in the SCO will be finalised by the next meeting of the leaders in 2016 in India,” Ushakov added.

To pave the way for admission of India and Pakistan, SCO members had approved two key documents regarding the procedure for granting membership and the obligations of states applying for it in the leaders’ summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in September.

The summit of five-nation BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – will see discussions on enhancing cooperation in the economic area. With the BRICS Development Bank already set up, the summit could also look at the possibility of starting credit facility in local currency.

The first head of the bank is noted Indian banker KV Kamath.

PTI

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PM Modi to arrive in Russia on Wednesday to attend BRICS summit