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For the 15th summit, which will take place in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24, all Brics leaders—aside from Russian President Vladimir Putin—will be there.
NEW DELHI: The 17-year-old organization’s leaders will meet in South Africa for a summit next week, but the five member states have not yet reached an agreement on the topic, according to persons with knowledge of the situation. The growth of Brics Summit will be a major topic of discussion during the meeting, they added.
The aggressive expansion of the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) is said to be led by China in an effort to make the organisation a rival to the West’s hegemonic influence over global affairs. As it struggles with its diplomatic isolation as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, Russia has supported it in these efforts.
Brics Summit: Unity, Expansion, and Currency Debate
According to reports, 40 nations have indicated a desire to join Brics, including Argentina, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). If the expansion is approved, it will be the first since South Africa was added to the grouping in September 2010.
Other Brics state leaders, with the exception of Russian President Vladimir Putin, will meet in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24 for the 15th Brics summit, which is planned to address the divisive topic of creating a single currency. There are gaps between the five members also here, according to the witnesses. Putin, who is wanted internationally for supposed war crimes in Ukraine, is scheduled to take part via video conference.
Brics Summit: Expansion and Currency Talks
The main worry of the Indian side with regard to the growth is that Brics shouldn’t turn into a China-centric organisation, especially at a time when ties between New Delhi and Beijing are at their lowest point as a result of the military stalemate on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). One of the individuals listed above stated, “Certainly, the inclusion of a country like the UAE isn’t a problem but there are concerns about some countries whose names are being mentioned.”
The Indian side tried to focus on adjustments that would give the grouping more weight and coherence as the discussion of extending Brics gained steam over the last year. Processes inside the Brics system needed to be streamlined, and duplicate-causing mechanisms needed to be fixed in some cases.
Prior to any expansion, the people said that work on these concerns would set up crucial pillars. Additionally, the method used to identify nations interested in joining Brics is not entirely clear, they added.
The second individual stated, “There have been cases where a nation has sent an enquiry about joining Brics and this has been interpreted as an application.
The growth is not being slowed down by India, which has been nervous to highlight this.
Speaking on behalf of the ministry’s external affairs division, Arindam Bagchi, recently refuted “insinuations” that India is opposed to the Brics organization’s expansion and stated that the country has tackled the problem with “a very positive mind and a positive framework.”
Brics members are internally debating the guiding principles, standards, criteria, and processes for the Brics growth process on the basis of complete consultation and consensus, according to Bagchi, as instructed by the leaders of the organisation last year.
A shared currency, initially suggested in April by Alexander Babavov, the deputy speaker of the Russian parliament, is likewise seen to be a non-starter, especially as trade settlement in the national currencies of the member nations hasn’t really taken off yet. The individuals also expressed concerns about the yuan’s dominance of the common currency.
According to Harsh V Pant, vice president for international policy at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), India is treading carefully when it comes to growth. If China is the driving force behind the expansion, it will strengthen India’s perception that Beijing isn’t interested in cooperating to give emerging players a bigger voice, but “rather in making the Brics a platform that is anti-American in its orientation and shaped by Chinese priorities,” Pant wrote in a recent article for ORF.