The leaders of the Brics countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), meeting at a summit in Johannesburg and anxious to expand their influence, said unanimously on Wednesday that they were open to expanding the Blocks, but the choice of host countries and conditions have yet to be discussed.
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“We are in the process of expanding the Brics family,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. “All members fully support the proposal,” he welcomed before a meeting with his counterparts, which he is hosting until Thursday.
As of this writing, no details have been given as to whether the bloc will elect new members before the summit ends, or if it’s just a matter of laying the groundwork for an extension. In any case, Pretoria must present a list of “guidelines” for the entry of new nations into the group.
Around forty countries around the world have applied for membership or expressed a desire to join the ‘Club of Five’, which generates a quarter of the world’s wealth and brings together 42% of the world’s population. Candidates include Cuba, Nigeria and Iran.
China, the group’s economic heavyweight, clearly reaffirmed its position on enlargement at the top.
“The Brics must champion multilateralism and not form small blocs. “We need to integrate more countries into the Brics family,” urged President Xi Jinping.
The Brics are a heterogeneous alliance of geographically distant countries with unevenly growing economies. What they have in common is the call for a broader global balance, particularly with regard to the influence of the United States and the European Union.
So far, India, another economic powerhouse in the group, which has feared the ambitions of its Chinese regional rival and had not commented on a possible expansion when the summit opened on Tuesday, finally declared its support for the opening. subject to agreement of terms.
“India fully supports BRICS membership expansion and looks forward to consensus,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Mr Ramaphosa said he was “glad to hear of India’s support” adding “hope to find a clear solution” on the issue of candidate selection and the terms of their accession, with the decision-making process within the BRICS the deal requires of all members.
“We all defend a multipolar world order,” Vladimir Putin said. Due to an international arrest warrant for war crimes in Ukraine, the Russian President spoke at the summit via video conference.
The Brics have reiterated their “non-aligned” position and their call for a multipolar world at a time when divisions have been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine.
The US said on Tuesday evening that it does not see the Brics states as future “geopolitical rivals”. Washington has stated its intention to maintain “strong ties” with Brazil, India and South Africa while continuing to “manage” its relations with China and oppose the Russian invasion.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has campaigned for the integration of troubled Argentina and the repayment of a $44 billion debt to the IMF, has promised to “relieve the vulnerability” of southern countries thanks to “our own” to diminish financial systems”.
The Brics created a New Development Bank (NDB) in 2015 with the goal of offering a different choice than the World Bank and IMF. It has invested US$30 billion in infrastructure and sustainable development projects in member states and developing countries.
Russia has also announced that it will organize the Brics Summit next year.