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SCO not to be a part of NATO: Russia

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Moscow: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) does not intend to become an analogue of NATO, despite the upcoming inclusion of new members, in particular India and Pakistan, according to chief of Russia’s presidential administration, Sergei Ivanov.

“As for the SCO, as the Russian president talked about this, a very important procedure will be started — the beginning of inclusion of two such large countries as India and Pakistan,” TASS news agency quoted Ivanov as saying on Monday.

“Both of them are nuclear, although SCO is not NATO, I would like to emphasise, and is not going to become NATO,” he added.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is an inter-governmental military alliance, constituting 28 member states across North America and Europe.

Ivanov said that the SCO was primarily a regional economic organisation. “Now it is regional taking into account,  China and India. That is quite the region,” Ivanov said, adding, “Essentially, it is a global organisation, of course.”

Ivanov said, “The world really needs a new modern polycentric architecture”.  “BRICS is actively discussing it… not only when getting together,” he added.

The chief of Russia’s presidential administration pointed out that for the three consecutive years, leaders of BRICS member states — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — gather before the G20 summit. “The BRICS five gathers and discusses what it will do in the framework of the summit of the 20,” he said.

Ivanov did not agree with the assumption that the world is on the threshold of a new Yalta conference, which established the post-World War II world order. “Yalta-2 cannot be done, if it is not what our Western partners really want,” he said.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation brings together Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

(IANS)

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Less than Half of Americans Support North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO): Survey

NATO has expanded to include countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc, and has also added countries that are further away, such as Turkey and Greece

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NATO
FILE - Flags of NATO member countries fly at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. VOA

A new survey shows that less than half of Americans support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an alliance originally designed to provide collective security against the Soviet Union, but now focused on Russia and non-state actors such as the Taliban and the Islamic State group.

The YouGov survey, released to commemorate the 70th anniversary of NATO, found that only 44 percent of Americans support the United States’ place in the agreement. That was down 3 percentage points from when the survey was conducted in 2017.

The poll also surveyed other NATO countries and found that support for the alliance had decreased significantly in the past two years among key European allies. Support for NATO dropped in Britain from 73 percent to 59 percent, in Germany from 68 percent to 54 percent, and in France from 54 percent to 39 percent.

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Support for NATO dropped in Britain from 73 percent to 59 percent, in Germany from 68 percent to 54 percent, and in France from 54 percent to 39 percent. VOA

YouGov said there is a generational divide in the United States over support for NATO, with 56 percent of the Baby Boomer generation, who grew up at the beginning of the Cold War, believing that the treaty continues to serve an important role in defending Western nations. Only 35 percent of Millennials and 33 percent of Generation X members support U.S. participation in the alliance.

There is also a political divide, according to the survey, with 60 percent of Democrats in the United States agreeing the alliance serves an important role, while only 38 percent of Republicans believe the same.

YouGov contacted more than 1,200 U.S. adults for the survey, which was conducted online, as well as more than 1,000 adults in several European countries.

NATO
NATO has expanded to include countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc, and has also added countries that are further away, such as Turkey and Greece. VOA

NATO was formed to be an alliance of Western nations that would balance the military power of the Soviet Union and its allies in Eastern Europe. After the former Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, some experts questioned what part the alliance would play in international security, but the return of Russian assertiveness under President Vladimir Putin has partly changed that.

ALSO READ: On NATO’s 70th Birthday, Trump Takes Credit for Increased Burden Sharing in Defense Spending

NATO has expanded to include countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc, and has also added countries that are further away, such as Turkey and Greece.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the group, saying many NATO members do not spend enough on defense to fully meet their commitments under the agreement. (VOA)