The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is ready to strengthen partnership with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), said Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee Sergei Lebedev.
Lebedev made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua before traveling to Qingdao, China's eastern Shandong Province, to participate in an SCO summit scheduled for June 9 and 10.
In his view, the coming SCO summit will "undoubtedly" become one of the most important political events not only for Eurasia but also for the whole world.
"I think that this event is intended again to emphasize the role of the SCO as one of the main pillars of the emerging multipolar world," Lebedev said.
Cooperation between the CIS and the SCO is based on the memorandum of understanding signed on April 12, 2005 between the SCO Secretariat and the CIS Executive Committee, he said.
"In my opinion, there are great opportunities for further building up practical ties between the two organizations. The most relevant area is security, countering modern challenges and threats," he said.
Lebedev said it is also important to ensure coordination of the SCO and CIS activities in the implementation of mutually beneficial projects and the development of trade ties.
"In the last few years, a great potential for cooperation has been found in the rapidly developing areas, such as e-commerce and trade in services. There are big opportunities in the humanitarian sphere as well," he said.
The CIS-SCO cooperation should be carried out on the basis of bright and clear principles: mutual trust and equality, open discussion of any problems, and consideration of each other's interests, he said.
"The overall strategic goal is to ensure stability and security, promote sustainable social and economic development while preserving the national and cultural identity of each of the participating countries," he said.
The CIS was founded in 1991 as a regional association of former Soviet republics. Its members comprise of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Established in 2001, the SCO has eight full members, namely China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
"An important achievement of the SCO is the extension of cooperation from the security sphere, which was at the first stage, to politics and diplomacy, trade, transport, cultural and humanitarian sphere," Lebedev said.
He praised China's contribution, saying that its growing influence in the global arena has a positive impact on the world economy and politics.