On June 29-30, 2015, St.Petersburg hosted the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting. The participants discussed the present state of regional and global security, and possible joint steps to neutralise threats and challenges.
A 2016-2017 cooperation plan for the defence ministries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation member states was signed following the meeting, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said. The participants also supported the Russian initiative to set up a council of national military advisers.
According to Mr Shoigu, the SCO Defence Ministers were unanimous that the situation in the organisation's zone of responsibility is becoming less secure and less predictable. Of particular concern is the situation in Afghanistan. In this regard, the SCO Defence Ministers decided to hold an international conference of chiefs of the general staffs of the SCO countries' armed forces in Moscow in October 2015.
He remarked on the successful implementation of a number of joint measures in the past year, aimed at improving military coordination in antiterrorism operations, and building trust and understanding.
The celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the conference on international security held in Moscow in April made a significant contribution to improving cooperation between the SCO Defence Ministries, Mr Shoigu said.
He also noted that the conference and exhibition centre of the Russian Armed Forces in Kubinka near Moscow, which recently hosted the Army-2015 international military-technical forum, can be used for training foreign personnel who use Russian weapons.