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Eastern Express 15.09

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit commenced on September 15 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It will be attended by the presidents of China, Russia and Turkey – those countries whose interests and influence intersect in the region, and in addition the heads of state of the Central Asian region will be present.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established in 2001. In its 20 years of operation, it has not achieved a lasting impact on security in Central Asia, serving mainly as a forum for political consultations between Russia and China as well as other countries in the region.

Russia and China have developed their own levers of influence as to the situation in Central Asia independent of the SCO. However, the organisation is an important instrument in itself for legitimising policies toward countries of the region, as well as limiting influence from the EU and the US.

This episode further covers topics of Turkey cancelling visa-free travel for citizens of Turkmenistan, the mysterious deaths of Russian oppositionists, Pope Francis’ warning about the dangers of justifying war by using religion and Ursula Von Der Leyen’s annual state-of-the-union speech.

To shed more light on these issues TVP World invited Marcin Grabowski, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Science and International Relations of the Jagiellonian University of Krakow.

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