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SCO Backs Ukraine Peace Plan, China Pledges $5 Billion

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has backed a cease-fire deal agreed for eastern Ukraine last week and called for talks to continue until the conflict is resolved.

The call for a negotiated settlement of the conflict between Kyiv and pro-Russian separatists came in a declaration adopted on September 12 at a summit of the regional grouping comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and host Tajikistan.

In a swipe at the United States, the SCO leaders also condemned any unilateral buildup of missile defense systems.

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia, which assumed the group's rotating presidency, will seek to boost the SCO's role in preserving regional stability.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said China, which has used the group to expand ties with the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, will provide a $5 billion loan to finance joint SCO projects.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax