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15 Jun, 2023 13:14

Nations lining up to join BRICS – Russian deputy FM

Nearly 20 countries are on the list of potential candidates, Sergey Ryabkov has said
Nations lining up to join BRICS – Russian deputy FM

An increasing number of nations are moving towards joining the BRICS bloc, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has said. Nearly 20 candidates are currently in the pipeline, with current member states deciding on how to organize the expansion, he said.

BRICS, which began as an informal club of non-Western developing nations, plays “an increasing and already significant role in the international arena,” the diplomat told TASS on Thursday.

The organization rejects the idea that some nations should lead others and instead determines its agenda based on consensus, Ryabkov added.

The group currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as full-fledged members, but a number of nations have already applied to join. These include Türkiye, Mexico, Indonesia, the UAE, and Egypt, among others.

Ryabkov said member states are still discussing how exactly BRICS expansion would happen and what criteria, if any, candidates would have to meet. South Africa, which was not a founding member and was invited in 2010, joined without preconditions, he noted.

“I believe strong candidates, of which there are many, can turn to that experience too, when they make predictions of what can and cannot happen in their cases,” the Russian official suggested.

The bloc may introduce a framework for admitting new members before the August summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The BRICS group is engaged in building up financial infrastructure for international trade and development projects that will not depend on institutions influenced by the US and other Western powers.

Among other things, member states advocate replacing the dollar in bilateral commerce. The US has “weaponized” its control of the global reserve currency to impose unilateral economic sanctions in pursuit of its geopolitical goals, officials from BRICS states have said.