- Sputnik Africa, 1920
2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
The 15th BRICS summit will take place from August 22-24 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which assumed the rotating BRICS presidency in January 2023.

BRICS Official Slams Weaponized Anti-Russia Sanctions, Praises Multilateralism

© Sputnik . Grigory Sysoev / Go to the mediabankBRICS logo at the information desk of the alliance's 15th summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 22-24, 2023.
BRICS logo at the information desk of the alliance's 15th summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 22-24, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 22.08.2023
As the 15th BRICS Summit kicked off Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, remarks by the BRICS Business Council chairperson shed light on the harmful effects of unilateral Western sanctions on other nations dealing with Russia and underscore the importance of dialogue and cooperation in resolving conflicts.
The anti-Russia sanctions following the onset of the current conflict in Ukraine have been used as a "weapon of war," Busisiwe Mabuza, chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, said in an interview with Sputnik Africa on the sidelines of the ongoing 15th BRICS Summit.
The chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, a platform that promotes and strengthens trade and investment ties among the business communities of the five BRICS countries, emphasized that anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West do not solve existing problems but rather create new challenges, impacting countries like South Africa.
Highlighting the concerns of businesses trading with Russia, Mabuza emphasized the adverse effects of the West's unilateral sanctions. In particular, South African companies faced difficulties due to the participation of local banks in the SWIFT system, which connects them to the United States.
The businesswoman argued that the sanctions against Russia are affecting the livelihoods of people in other parts of the world, "because the business that trades with Russia all of a sudden has to stop." Therefore, their ability to continue trading decreases, resulting in a loss of income.
"I personally don't support the sanctions. I think they've been used as a weapon of war. And we need to find other ways of doing things, especially if we claim that we subscribe to institutions that have been set up to address these issues," Mabuza said.
She spotlighted the importance of resolving conflicts through communication and discussion, citing the African Peace Initiative led by seven leaders who have engaged in diplomatic efforts by meeting with the Ukrainian and Russian leaders.
BRICS Summit opens its doors in Johannesburg - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 22.08.2023
2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
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"It's an aggression. And in my world, I really don't believe you resolve a problem by causing another problem. You sit down, and you resolve that problem, which is why African leaders had a delegation that went and met with the Ukrainian leader and the Russian leader," Mabuza told Sputnik Africa.

BRICS Club Attests to Multilateralism

Mabuza also praised the BRICS alliance as a testimony to the world as to how important multilateralism and mutual respect are. She said that BRICS countries had shown how they could cooperate and benefit from each other at a human level and as far as their economies go.
The chairperson suggested that multilateralism and mutual respect are "absolutely the way to go."

"People have been observing the relationship between the BRICS nations and what it has done for the nations at a human level, what it has done for our respective nations in terms of our economies and how we interact with each other in a respectful way, also in a mutually beneficial way," Mabuza maintained.

She said that many nations were already applying to join BRICS because they saw how the world could be if multilateralism was upheld. Mabuza said that she did not like to think of BRICS as an alternative, but as a model of how things should be done.
The 15th BRICS Summit kicked off on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, where leaders will consider expanding the group's membership to include other emerging economies, including Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkiye and Egypt. The move is expected to bolster the group's diversity and clout in global affairs.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also expected to take part in the BRICS summit in South Africa to discuss the importance of international cooperation, climate change and other issues.
The BRICS economic alliance, currently consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, represents approximately 42% of the world's population, 31.5% of the world's GDP and 30% of the world's territory.