BRICS summit 2024: Russia open to expanding membership, Putin to attend via video link

In this post:

  • The upcoming BRICS summit in Kazan may see the addition of new participants beyond the current five members, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remote participation in the previous summit does not signal reduced attention to BRICS, but rather emphasizes the country’s commitment to the format.
  • Enlargement of BRICS will be a key topic of discussion at the upcoming summit in Johannesburg, with over 40 countries expressing interest in joining, including potential candidates like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Indonesia, Egypt, and Argentina.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, announced that next year’s BRICS summit, to be held in Kazan, may see more participants beyond the current five member countries. As Russia assumes the chairmanship of BRICS in 2024, the country is open to welcoming new member states, making enlargement a key topic for discussion during this year’s BRICS summit.

Reports indicate that Brazil will not host the BRICS Summit next year due to logistical challenges in organizing both the G20 and BRICS Summits in the same year.

Putin’s virtual attendance and BRICS’ focus on enlargement

Speaking to reporters, Ryabkov expressed optimism about the potential expansion of BRICS, indicating that more than the current five heads of state may attend the Kazan summit. The senior diplomat emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to participate in the Johannesburg summit via video link does not signal a lack of attention to BRICS; rather, it underscores the leadership’s dedication to the format.

The BRICS group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and its annual summit serves as a significant forum for developing economies to discuss key issues and strengthen economic cooperation.

While President Putin’s attendance at the Johannesburg summit will be virtual due to an indictment and arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court over the war in Ukraine, it does not diminish Russia’s commitment to the BRICS partnership.

Enlargement of the organization will be one of the focal points during the upcoming BRICS summit, scheduled for August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Russia’s willingness to welcome new member states signals its intent to expand the economic bloc’s influence and enhance cooperation with other nations.

According to media reports and statements from officials, there is growing interest from countries seeking BRICS membership. In particular, India’s Business Standard daily reported that potential inductees at the upcoming summit may include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Egypt, and Argentina.

South Africa’s top diplomat responsible for BRICS relations, Anil Sooklal, revealed that more than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining the economic bloc, with 22 already having formally applied for membership. Sooklal envisions that BRICS may eventually expand to include over 50 member states.

As the 2024 summit approaches, discussions surrounding BRICS enlargement will likely gain momentum. Under Russia’s chairmanship, the Kazan summit will present an opportunity to explore new partnerships and foster deeper economic ties between member and potential member states.

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