BRICS Launched Expansion Process to Build a Just World, Lavrov Says
09:26 21.08.2023 (Updated: 10:34 21.08.2023)
The BRICS summit will take place on August 22-24 in Johannesburg and will be chaired by South Africa. According to the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, the leaders of the five countries will discuss the issue of expanding the organization at the summit.
BRICS has launched the process of expanding the association to become one of the pillars of a more just polycentric world order, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an article for the South African magazine Ubuntu.
The minister pointed to the ongoing work on the development of interaction between the association and the states of the world's majority. In particular, one of the priorities of the South African presidency is to strengthen cooperation
with African countries, he said, adding that Russia "fully shares this approach."
"Our association has many like-minded supporters around the world. They see the BRICS as a positive force capable of strengthening the solidarity of the countries of the Global South and East to become one of the pillars of a new, more just, polycentric world order. The Five are ready to respond to this call. That is why we have launched the expansion process," Lavrov stressed.
However, he emphasized that BRICS does not aim to become a "new collective hegemon," reiterating that the group is ready to become one of the pillars of a new multipolar world.
"We do not have the goal of replacing the existing multilateral mechanisms, let alone becoming a new 'collective hegemon,'" the minister said.
According to Lavrov, it is "symbolic" that the BRICS expansion process gained such momentum precisely in the year of South Africa's
chairmanship, a country that was admitted to the BRICS economic bloc "as a result of a consensus political decision."
"I am convinced that the 15th anniversary summit will be another milestone in our strategic partnership, will set key priorities for action in the coming years," the minister said.
Lavrov went on to say that Russia highly appreciates the efforts of the South African chairmanship, including the intensification of work on improving the entire complex of mechanisms for the functioning of the bloc, deepening dialogue with third countries.
He also noted that among priorities of the bloc are strengthening the potential of the New Development Bank
and the pool of BRICS' foreign exchange reserves, improving payment mechanisms, as well as increasing the role of national currencies in mutual settlements. The Russian minister added that these issues will be the focus of the upcoming BRICS summit in Johannesburg.
According to the diplomat, Russia and a number of other countries are gradually reducing their dependence on the dollar and switching to settlements in national currencies.
"Not only Russia, but also a number of other states are consistently reducing their dependence on the US dollar, switching to the use of alternative payment systems and settlements in national currencies. This reminds us of the wise words of Nelson Mandela: 'When the water starts boiling, it is foolish to turn off the heat'. And this is true," Lavrov said.
He underlined that the attempts of the "collective West" to maintain its hegemony have the opposite effect, since "the world community is tired of the blackmail and pressure of the Western elites, of their colonial, racist habits."
"A more just multipolar world order is emerging right before our eyes. New centers of economic growth and globally significant political decisions in Eurasia, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America are guided primarily by their own interests, putting national sovereignty first. And on this basis, they are achieving impressive success in various fields," the minister elaborated.
Lavrov emphasized that Russia is convinced that the interests of developing countries
, including African states, must be presented in the UN Security Council. According to the diplomat, Moscow advocates for strengthening the position of Africa "in the multipolar world order."
"We will continue to support African friends in their desire to play an increasingly significant role in solving the key problems of our time," he stressed, adding: "This fully applies to the process of reforming the UN Security Council, in which, we firmly believe, the legitimate interests of developing countries, including Africa, must be guaranteed first and foremost."
The minister also touched upon the issue of Russia-Africa cooperation, noting that Moscow is ready to make its contribution to strengthening food and energy security on the continent.
"We are ready to contribute to ensuring economic growth on the continent, strengthening security there, including its food and energy components. The results of the Second Russia-Africa Summit held on July 27-28, 2023 in St. Petersburg are clear evidence of this," the diplomat added.
The 15th BRICS summit, which will be held on August 22-24 in Johannesburg, is expected to be attended by the leaders of China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to participate
in the summit via video link.
BRICS unites Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, but recently at least 19 states have expressed their desire to join the economic bloc, including Argentina, Iran, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.