24 Jun 2024 15:57

Minsk proposes SCO countries coordinate energy programs amid geopolitical tensions

MINSK. June 24 (Interfax) - Belarus plans to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), expects to cooperate with SCO countries on energy and proposes to coordinate actions to draw up and link long-term national energy programs, Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich said.

"Amid external challenges and intensifying geopolitical tensions, the organization's role in strengthening energy security in the region is growing significantly. A mutually important objective now is to work out coordinated actions to draw up and link long-term national energy programs with an emphasis on strengthening the technological and production potential of the energy sector," Karankevich was quoted as saying at a meeting of SCO energy ministers in Astana by his press service.

He also stressed the importance of adopting a set of measures to ensure a gradual transition to a green economy and low-carbon development.

These key issues are factored into the core of the strategy for developing energy cooperation between SCO countries to 2030, a draft of which was approved at the energy ministers' meeting on Friday, the press service said.

"The document is aimed at increasing the energy security of countries in the organization, developing dialog and exchanging information in key energy sectors, including electricity, the oil and gas industry and nuclear energy. It calls for the development of partnership in the area of efficient use of low-carbon, environmentally clean alternative energy sources, as well as the development of advanced technologies and energy efficiency," the statement said.

The strategy also calls for identifying promising areas for practical cooperation, including possible collaboration on projects to modernize energy infrastructure.

"It is expected that the country will already become a full-fledged member of the SCO in the very near future, which will provide opportunities to expand cooperation with partners in the organization, both in multilateral and bilateral formats. We are open to cooperation and dialog with SCO countries and are prepared to get involved in joint efforts to work out measures for collective energy security, and develop mechanisms for regional cooperation within the context of the organization," Karankevich said.