China hosts Russia, Iran for summit as USA tensions rise

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

The remarks were made during the 18th annual summit of SCO, an eight-member grouping led by Beijing and Moscow - in the coastal city of Qingdao.

The Kremlin leader did not miss an opportunity to thumb his nose at the club of leading industrialised democracies, saying that the combined purchasing power of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation -which includes Russian Federation and China - outstripped the G7.

"We will be ready to greet them all in Moscow", he added, referring to leaders of the USA, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy.

He said he did not discuss a possible meeting venue with Trump but "many" countries including Austria were keen to help in organising such a summit.

Trump riled US allies on Friday when he suggested Russian Federation be readmitted to the G7 organization, despite the country's 2014 expulsion because it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

The Russia-China relations are at their best level in history and have set a good example for state-to-state relations in the present world, which has played an important role in safeguarding worldwide peace, security and stability, Putin said.

The U.S. leader has repeatedly said he wants to improve relationships with Moscow.

The two leaders agreed that China and Russian Federation should adhere to the concept of everlasting friendship and the spirit of strategic coordination, and expand and deepen cooperation in all areas.

The SCO meeting comes at a time that Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the global nuclear pact with Iran.

Mr Putin, who has previously told Europe he had warned them about the trade threat Washington posed to them, also said that if Mr Trump imposed new tariffs on imports of foreign cars it would have serious consequences for the global economy and especially for Europe.

The president denounced the U-S unilateral sanctions against Iran after pulling out of the agreement. "Why are we having a meeting without Russian Federation being in the meeting?"

"Together with our European Union and G7 partners, we've made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russian Federation fully - I emphasize fully - implements its commitments under the Minsk Agreement", he said.

Founded in 2001, the Beijing-based SCO has largely served as a vehicle for resolving border issues, fighting terrorism and - more implicitly - to counter American influence in Central Asia following its invasion of Afghanistan.

"No matter what country has terrorists, we must strengthen our regional cooperation and not allow them to affect regional security", he told a press conference Friday, adding that the SCO bloc had stopped "hundreds" of terrorist acts.

Last month, US President Donald Trump announced Washington's pullout from the JCPOA, vowing to reinstate nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic. "Please, we would be happy to see everyone in Moscow", he added.

Latest News