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Opinion | How Brics chair Russia will deepen cooperation in expanded bloc


Tectonic shifts are leading to the emergence of a more just multipolar world order. The unipolar model, which for centuries served the interests of the so-called “collective West” and fuelled their excessive consumption at the expense of other nations, is receding.

New centres of power are rising in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East that strive to see their countries independent and self-reliant while exercising the sovereign right to choose their development path.

Countries in the West are doing everything to preserve their domination, including imposing self-invented “rules” for the rest of the world to follow, creating divides in the logic of a bloc-based confrontation.

Brics leaders speak as they attend the Friends of Brics Leaders dialogue during the 15th Brics summit, in Johannesburg on August 24 last year. Photo: EPA-EFE
The United States and its allies use illegal unilateral sanctions as a coercive tool and the dollar as a weapon to achieve political goals. The West neglects the basic principles of a market economy and inviolability of private property, while taking an irresponsible macroeconomic course through uncontrolled emissions and the accumulation of unsecured debt. As a result, we see a global economic slowdown, growing unemployment, shortages of raw materials, and food and energy security problems.
The international community is growing weary of the pressure and neocolonial manners of the Western elite. A growing number of states are increasingly asserting their national interests and identities in pursuit of genuine strategic independence, including through reducing their dollar dependence and switching to alternative financial instruments.

Brics is all about true multilateralism. Through joint efforts, it has created a culture of dialogue based on equality, respect for each other’s development path, consideration of each other’s core interests, and a search for common ground. It offers the world creative initiatives to achieve sustainable development goals, ensure food and energy security for all and healthy global economic growth, and combat climate change, including through a just energy transition.

Brics’ combined gross domestic product in purchasing power parity terms amounts to about one-third of world GDP, exceeding that of the Group of Seven, and will increase further. The collective share of member states in the global economy is US$58.9 trillion. Brics nations account for 36 per cent of the Earth’s land mass, 45 per cent of the world’s population, over 40 per cent of oil production, significant volumes of other resources’ production, and about a quarter of the world’s exports.

As Brics chair, Russia seeks to ensure continuity by carrying on the efforts of its predecessor, South Africa, and other partners to promote cooperation in three key areas: politics and security, economy and finance, and cultural and humanitarian contact.

02:36

No explanation as China’s Xi Jinping unexpectedly skips speech at Brics business forum

No explanation as China’s Xi Jinping unexpectedly skips speech at Brics business forum

We are taking steps to preserve Brics traditions and guarantee the integration of new participants. There are about 30 countries wanting to join the Brics family, so we are elaborating on the modalities of a new Brics partner country category and actively using outreach and the Brics-plus dialogue mechanism to interact with non-Brics partners.

Brics members are strengthening coordination on key global issues, including in multilateral forums like the United Nations, G20 and World Trade Organization. Cooperation on anti-terrorism, anti-corruption, anti-drug trafficking and international information security is also being enhanced.

The implementation of the Strategy for Brics Economic Partnership 2025 is being advanced by reinforcing supply chains, developing the digital economy, supporting small and medium-sized businesses, stimulating tourist flows and cooperating in transport and logistics, etc.

We encourage the launch of the Brics Contact Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, building up the potential of the New Development Bank and the Brics contingent reserve arrangement, improving payment mechanisms, and expanding the role of national currencies in mutual payments.

Russia and China are ‘working together to reduce the world’s reliance on US dollars’

Measures are being taken to cooperate in remote sensing, promote the Russia-developed code of ethics on artificial intelligence (AI), and facilitate contact between our countries’ science parks and business incubators based on the iBRICS innovation network. We are interested in expanding ties between academic and scientific centres, higher education facilities, including through the Brics Network University.

Russia seeks to work closely with Brics partners to deepen cooperation in the digital economy, information and communication technologies and innovations, develop digital trade, AI, big data and the Internet of Things and help organise technology start-ups. Other important tracks include preventing mass infectious disease risks, including through the work of the Brics Vaccine Research and Development Centre, advancing nuclear medicine, and eventually establishing a Brics medical association.

The holding of the Youth Forum and Youth Camp, Forum of Young Diplomats, Brics-plus International Municipal Forum and Forum of Sister Cities and Municipalities will help promote cooperation in culture, sports, youth exchanges and civil society. We look forward to the broad participation of athletes in the Brics Games in Russia’s Kazan city later this month.

The culmination of our “watch” will be the Brics summit in Kazan in October. We are confident the meeting will identify key priorities for Brics for the coming years and be another strategic partnership milestone.

Igor Morgulov is the Russian ambassador to China



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