Iran On US Missile Shield; Putin For Multi-Polar Order.Ahmadi-Nejad on Aug. 16 used the Bishkek SCO (The SCO Group, Lindon, UT, www.sco.com) A leading vendor of Unix operating systems for the x86 platform. SCO had also offered Linux, but abandoned the line in the spring of 2003. The SCO Group is the combination of two companies: Utah-based Caldera, Inc. summit to lash out to strike out wildly or furiously; also used figuratively.
See also: Lash at US plans for a missile defence shield in Central Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. In addition, Northern, Southern and Southeastern Europe may variously delimit or overlap into Central Europe. , while Putin took an indirect swipe at Washington's "unilateral" foreign policy. Ahmadi-Nejad said the planned defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland was "a threat to more than one country", asserting it would affect "a large part of Asia and SCO members".
The SCO, set up in 2001, brings together Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Its stated aims are to combat terrorism and fortify for·ti·fy
v. for·ti·fied, for·ti·fy·ing, for·ti·fies
To make strong, as:
a. To strengthen and secure (a position) with fortifications.
b. To reinforce by adding material. regional collaboration; Iran has observer status. Beyond its security aspect, the SCO provides a forum for criticism of US policies. At its 2005 meeting in Astana, member-states demanded that Washington provide a timetable for ending its military presence in Central Asia.
Putin, without mentioning the US directly, on Aug. 16 called for a multi-polar world order, in line with his frequent criticisms of what he considers the Bush administration's unilateral foreign policies. He said: "Any attempts to solve global and regional problems unilaterally are hopeless". A joint statement at the summit's end echoed Putin, saying "modern challenges and security threats can only be effectively countered through united efforts of the international community".
The SCO is increasingly becoming a counter-weight to Western influence in Central Asia. After 9/11, the US based troops in southern Uzbekistan for operations in Afghanistan, but withdrew them in 2005 after Washington criticised the Uzbek dictatorship for its forceful crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators. The US has about 900 troops in Kyrgyzstan.
Michael Hall, a Central Asia expert formerly with the International Crisis Group (ICG ICG
indocyanine green. ) in Bishkek, on Aug. 16 was quoted as saying: "What unites" the SCO's states "are genuine common concerns about security, about border issues, and about trade and energy. There is a certain sense of wanting to let the US know that they're a force to be reckoned with". Other experts say Russia's new militarism Militarism
See also Soldiering.
leader of the Seven against Thebes. [Gk. Myth.: Iliad]
killed many enemies; led many troops to victory. [Ger. Lit. Nibelungenlied] and joint defence exercises with Chinese forces also fuel concerns of a new cold war between these powers and the West. At the same time, however, Russia and China have come to employ the SCO as a means to further their own economic interests. Both are keen to secure Central Asia's considerable energy reserves for their own use.
Russia is set on maintaining pre-eminence in a region it has long considered within its traditional sphere of influence. Moscow has locked up long-term gas supply contracts with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in an effort to back up its supplies, and reached an agreement to pipe Turkmen gas through Russia. The latter deal was a commercial coup and a setback to the US, which hopes to ship Turkmen gas across the Caspian Sea to Europe.
Officials at the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC CNPC China National Petroleum Corporation
CNPC Centro Nacional de la Productividad y la Calidad (Chile)
CNPC Commander, Navy Personnel Command
CNPC China National Philatelic Corporation (Chinese stamp authority) ) says Turkmenistan, the second largest FSU FSU Florida State University
FSU Former Soviet Union
FSU Ferris State University
FSU Fayetteville State University (North Carolina)
FSU Frostburg State University
FSU Finance Sector Union gas producer after Russia, would supply China with 30 BCM BCM Baylor College of Medicine
BCM Business Communications Manager (Nortel)
BCM Broadcom Corporation
BCM Business Continuity Management
BCM Business Contact Manager (Microsoft) of gas per annum Per annum
Yearly. over 30 years. China is increasingly looking to Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, with some of the world's largest untapped oil and gas deposits, to feed its fast-growing energy appetite.
As a further indication of the SCO's aspirations to become more than a regional security body, its summit on Aug. 16 included the presidents of Mongolia, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, and ministers from India and Pakistan. Iran, India and Pakistan have applied for full memberships. Just before the summit, the SCO began joint military exercises in Chelyabinsk, Russia, involving more than 6,000 troops. These reached their climax on Aug. 17 and involved mainly Russian and Chinese forces.
However, contradictions and differences within the SCO may ultimately hinder its development into a body to counter-balance Western alliances like NATO NATO: see North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
in full North Atlantic Treaty Organization
International military alliance created to defend western Europe against a possible Soviet invasion. . Hall said: "The idea of Russia and China as allies sort of stretches the limits of the imagination" - referring to long-standing differences between Moscow and Beijing.
Relations among the Central Asian states are also problematic. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan each consider themselves the region's dominant power, while the other Central Asia states view Kyrgyzstan, which has the region's most democratic government, with suspicion.