Today, on December 6, the Minenergo of Russia hosted a ceremony of signing the Memorandum on creation of an Energy club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO Energy Club). The document was signed by representatives of Afghanistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, India, Tajikistan, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Russia.
As explained by Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky, the Energy Club is being created by analogy with the Business Club existing within the SCO framework, which brings together representatives of business, but at the new site both the governments of the cooperation organization member states and business are expected to participate in the discussion of problems.
According to Yanovsky, the Energy solutions will not be binding on its members, and will be only recommendations on the basis of which other SCO bodies will be able to take appropriate decisions.
For the first time, the idea of creating an SCO Energy Club was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2006. On September 23, 2011 the Energy Ministers of China, Russia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan adopted the Xian Initiative to accelerate the starting process of the Club development. At a recent meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO member states the sides reaffirmed the need to create such a structure
The signing of the Memorandum will allow meeting the challenges facing the economy in the space of the Organization. The Club’s format will allow coordinating the SCO member and observer states’ and their partners’ energy policies to develop and implement measures of collective energy security.
The meeting noted that the creation of the Club should contribute to deepening the cooperation between the energy producers (Russia - Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan - Iran) and energy consumers (China - Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan - India - Pakistan - Mongolia) and become the first step towards a common energy system both in the regional and global context.
Particularly, the representative of China noted that his country, as the biggest energy consumer in the world is very much dependent on external markets and counts on cooperation withing the new structure.
The parties agreed to subsequently clarify and specify the mechanisms contained in the memorandum.
Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council, Sergey Kanavsky welcomed the signing of the Memorandum and announced that the secretariat and the national part of the SCO Business Council are joining in this work, and the Energy Club can count on the support of the SCO Business Club.