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18 Jan, 2024 10:45

Dozens of countries want to join BRICS – Lavrov

The Russian foreign minister has stated that the high level of interest in the group suggests it has a great future ahead
Dozens of countries want to join BRICS – Lavrov

Nearly 30 countries have expressed a desire to become part of the BRICS group, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday. 

Discussing the results of Russian diplomacy in 2023, Lavrov argued that one of the most significant steps toward strengthening the global position of BRICS was the decision to expand the group of emerging economies.  

BRICS officially announced the addition of new member countries at its 2023 summit in August, marking its first expansion since South Africa joined in 2010. As well as the founding members of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the association also now includes Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates. 

A range of other states have expressed their desire to become BRICS members, including Venezuela, Thailand, Senegal, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Bahrain, and Pakistan – all of which have formally submitted applications to join. 

Other countries such as Syria, Türkiye, Nicaragua, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe have also expressed interest in joining the group but have yet to file official accession applications.

Given the increased interest in aligning with BRICS, Lavrov stated that the group has “a great future ahead.” He further pledged that Russia, which assumed the rotating BRICS chairmanship on January 1, will help ensure that new members “organically fit into our common work and contribute to the strengthening of positive trends not only within BRICS, but also on the international arena in the interests of the world majority.”

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), BRICS currently accounts for as much as 36% of global GDP in terms of purchasing power parity, surpassing the G7 group of Western countries.

Earlier this month, media reports also suggested that Saudi Arabia – the biggest economy in the Arab world – had joined the BRICS group. Riyadh later dismissed the reports, clarifying that while it has received an invitation to attend BRICS, it has not yet decided to officially join the organization.

Last year, Argentina also accepted an invitation to become an official BRICS member, but made a U-turn after the newly-elected president, Javier Milei, opted out of the group, declaring he would not “ally with communists.”

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