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Russia to take over BRICS chairmanship

File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 16, 2020


Cape Town – The Russian Embassy in SA has placed trade, security and humanitarian efforts at the heart of priorities as Russia takes over the chairmanship of the BRICS countries.

On Tuesday, the economic block, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), is holding its annual summit, which has been held since 2009, to rotate the chairmanship.

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This year’s summit, which was initially scheduled for July but was postponed due to Covid-19, is themed “BRICS partnership for global stability, shared security innovative growth” and will be held virtually.

The embassy’s press attaché, Alexander Arefiev, said Russia would prioritise the strengthening of multilateral principles in global politics and promoting shared interests of the BRICS countries in international forums.

This would include the promotion of the centrality of the United Nations in international relations, consolidation of collective efforts to address global and regional threats and challenges as well as deepening cooperation within the block to “counter terrorism, extremism, corruption, cross-border crime and illicit drug and arms trafficking”.

Commenting on concerns over the nationalist posture of Brazil and its growing relations with the US under outgoing President Trump, Arefiev indicated that Russia’s stance was that BRICS members were allowed to formulate their own political posture.

“BRICS is not an opposition for nationalism. BRICS is a union of five nations that is based on the duly recognised principles of equality, non-interference on domestic affairs and respect of each other’s national interests.

’’BRICS is not an opposition to anything, we don’t see BRICS as a remedy to nationalism,” Arefiev said.

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He stressed that each of the BRICS members were free to define their own destiny and form relations with any other country.

“What BRICS is designed for is a role model as a union of equal states that recognise and have due regard to interests of each other.

’’If a BRICS nation wants to build strong relations with any other country, it is not a problem or competition for BRICS,” Arefiev said.

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