In a statement delivered at a meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member nations in Dushanbe, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu noted on July 27 that the situation tends to deteriorate along borders of SCO member countries, according to Russia’s TASS news agency. 

He reportedly emphasized that SCO member nations shared similar views on how to resolve issues related to regional security and stability.

“International terrorism, extremism, separatism and cybercrime continue to threaten the peaceful development of the organization’s members and the welfare of our peoples," he pointed out.  Shoygu added that "the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated international tensions, traditional challenges and threats."

"At this point, the situation in Afghanistan is particularly important because the country is actively engaged in the SCO’s activities as an observer country," Shoygu noted.

The Russian defense minister was hopeful that SCO member countries would be able to preserve peace and stability in the region through joint efforts.

"Our meeting, traditionally focused on ways to ensure security, is taking place in the year of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s 20th anniversary.  During this period, the SCO turned into an influential interstate organization, playing an increasingly important role in international affairs. It became possible largely particularly through cooperation between the member states’ defense ministries and a high level of understanding and trust," Shoygu said.

According to Shoygu, Russia’s Defense Ministry is taking measures to combat attempts to move militant activity from Afghanistan into Central Asia.

"To that end, we seek to improve the combat readiness of Russia’s military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, by strengthening their ability to respond to crisis situations.  We provide assistance to our allies and partners in Central Asia by upgrading their armed forces and equipping them with weapons and military hardware, in addition to training personnel," Shoygu pointed out.

"We place great importance on troop training," the Russian defense minister added.