World

India, Pakistan to join expanding security organization led by Russia and China

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Host photo agency/RIA Novosti Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Host photo agency/RIA Novosti Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, speaks to China’s President Xi Jinping, second right, as Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, left, and Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov, prepare to pose for a photo during the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit in Ufa, Russia, Friday, July 10, 2015.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, speaks to China’s President Xi Jinping, second right, as Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, left, and Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov, prepare to pose for a photo during the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit in Ufa, Russia, Friday, July 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left: Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon, Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov pose for a photo ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia, Friday, July 10, 2015.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    From left: Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon, Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov pose for a photo ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia, Friday, July 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says India and Pakistan will join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a group dominated by Russia and China and also including former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Russia sees the organization as a counterweight to Western alliances.

Membership in the group potentially offers India greater access to the energy resources of Central Asia. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has combined his attendance at the summit in Russia with visits to SCO members Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Putin opened the annual summit on Friday by announcing the acceptance of India and Pakistan as members. He said Belarus would obtain observer status, joining Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia.

The Russian president called for greater cooperation in fighting drug trafficking from Afghanistan and the financing of terrorism.