Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Chebarkul after the joint Chinese / Russian military exercises which cost an estimated Russia 2 billion rubles ($80 million) dissmissed as irrelevant, allegations that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a military bloc, and highlighted its increasing role in economic cooperation.
Later the increasingly popular Russian president, whose recent exposure to the Russian TV audience, as an outdoor hiking, wholly to their linking, outdoorsman (Pic Putin showing how he handles his tackle) , proposed holding counter-terrorism exercises on a regular basis. He focused on the need for a multi-polar system for international security, and spoke out against attempts by any one nation to take global security into its own hands.
This followed on his thinly veiled remarks ;
"It is essential to continue forming anti-drug security belts around Afghanistan, which could be complemented with financial security belts supervised by SCO financial monitors"The president said ;
"This will improve the effectiveness of measures to counter both drug trafficking and money laundering."He said given that all SCO member states were interested in ensuring stability in Afghanistan, a special conference should be held to discuss means of helping the country (remember President Kharzai was of the company in Bishkek). He proposed that SCO countries' foreign ministers make corresponding preparations - a suggestion that will be met by a very large raspberry in Washington DC.
In the summit declaration that was released on Thursday evening , the SCO leaders said no outside assistance was needed to ensure regional stability and energy security, and that the organization's regional antiterrorism structure had sufficient resources to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism in Eurasia...which was a polite way of saying to the US that they should keep their tanks off the Eurasian lawn.
Member states "pledged to push forward with creating a joint mechanism to counter threats to regional peace, stability and security, and to deepen cooperation in fighting drug trafficking and illegal migration. "
Meanwhile a Russian long range Tu-95MS bomber, from a base near Blagoveshchensk -bomber flew over a US naval base on the Pacific island of Guam on Wednesday (a 13 hour round trip) and "exchanged smiles" with US pilots who had scrambled to track it after Tornadoes had been scrambled to ensure similiar "Bears" didn't penetrate UK airspace the previous week.
President Putin took the opportunity whilst at the manouevres in Chebarkul to announcein a muscular statement that Russia had permanently resumed long-distance patrol flights of strategic bombers. Suspended as a cost and fuel saving requirment after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"I made a decision to restore flights of Russian strategic bombers on a permanent basis, and at 00:00 today, August 17, 14 strategic bombers, support aircraft and aerial tankers were deployed. Combat duty has begun, involving 20 aircraft."