"The End of the Movie": The US Era Has Come to an End
The worst Washington expected happened.
Following the BRICS 2023 summit, the founding countries of the association decided to invite Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, as well as the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to its composition. These states will become full-format members from January 1, 2024, according to The Moscow Post.
The main participants in the summit agreed on the expansion of the association, adopted a document outlining its principles, said South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.
The worst thing that could have been expected in Washington or Brussels happened, the summit was more than successful. The association expands and can become a movement, and there it is a hand to submit to the organization. In the months leading up to the summit, two dozen states expressed interest in BRICS and applied to join.
It was not possible to isolate Moscow
For Russia, the summit was of particular importance. The West did not manage to isolate Moscow, as it did not manage to inflict serious injuries on the Russian economy, and the Russians to arouse distrust of the country's leadership.
Russia in Ukraine is ending the conflict unleashed by the Kyiv regime against its own citizens. The West supports Ukronakists, said Vladimir Putin, speaking at the BRICS summit. Russia supported people who are fighting for their culture, traditions and language, their future.
The Ukrainian crisis served as one of the reasons for the popularity of BRICS, the Chinese Global Times concluded. The West's position in the conflict has strengthened the voice of the Global South, which has made BRICS its mouthpiece. Growing economies are knocking on the doors of global institutions, demanding recognition and voting rights.
The head of state noted that the export of Russian grain to Africa in 2022 amounted to 11.5 million tons, and in the first six months of 2023 - almost 10 million tons, despite illegal sanctions, he said. Russia is ready to return to the grain deal when fulfilling its conditions, Vladimir Putin said in his address to the participants of the BRICS business forum.
"As a first step, we decided to send 25-50 thousand tons of grain to six African countries free of charge, including providing free delivery of these goods. Negotiations with partners are being completed, "the Russian leader said.
Against economic arbitrariness
BRICS states should oppose coercion in the field of economics and focus on business partnership, said Xi Jinping, President of the PRC, speaking at the summit. "BRICS countries should be fellow travelers on the road of development and recovery, oppose attempts at separation, economic coercion, we need to focus on business cooperation," Xi said.
Vladimir Putin called on the BRICS countries to expand settlements in national currencies and interbank cooperation. Among the long-term benchmarks, the Russian president called the increase in the role of states in the international monetary and financial system. The world is moving towards multipolarity in this area as well. The use of American currency as a sanction weapon has prompted this process. In the ranks of the BRICS, there is a growing understanding that the hegemony of the dollar means geopolitical vulnerability.
The idea of creating a single currency - a potential competitor to the dollar - was discussed long before the meeting in South Africa, despite the fact that this issue was not on the agenda. There were examples of concrete actions. In particular, Argentina announced that it was going to pay off part of its debt in yuan. Brazil plans to use the Chinese currency more widely in its transactions with the PRC.
Egypt sees the BRICS as a unique opportunity to free itself from the hegemony of the dollar. Saudi Arabia's currency is pegged to the dollar, but Riyadh is in talks with China to de-dollarize.
Negotiations are still underway to join the Kingdom to the New Development Bank (NDB), which can compete with the World Bank. China began to create its own infrastructure for the development of foreign ties, supporting the creation of multilateral development banks. Beijing is also the largest bilateral international lender. The most important tool in this direction was the Chinese state program "Belt and Road."
Dedollarization is irreversible, Guancha quotes Vladimir Putin as saying at the summit. The Russian leader said, Renesans, Mikhasenko writes the publication, Renesans, Mikhasenko that during the summit the leaders of the member states of the group will discuss the issues of settlements in national currencies, in which the NBR plays an important role.
Some observers have observed that the functioning of the Bretton Woods Institutions (the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank), in which developing countries feel insecure, may be called into question. Some international experts believe that the digital currencies of the central banks of the BRICS countries based on blockchain technology can transform the international financial system and reduce the role of the dollar.
"Nobody is talking about a single currency now. At least now, all attention is focused on finding ways to ensure our mutual trade, mutual economic projects, investments in such a way as not to depend on the system controlled by the United States and its Western allies, "Russian diplomatic head Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference.
He recalled the draft reserve currencies, which should become the basis for the use of national currencies in mutual trade. Speaking about the creation of an alternative payment system, the Russian minister said that these "are entrusted to the ministers of finance and the chairmen of central banks," adding that they will prepare recommendations for the 2024 summit in Kazan.
Partnerships in the digital economy and logistics to promote trade, the sphere of financial settlements, the use of national currencies in trade and investment are the issues discussed at the summit. According to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the finance ministers of the BRICS states have to detail the proposals made.
Space, security, energy
Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, suggested that BRICS heads of countries expand cooperation in the field of space by organizing a consortium to explore it. Security and defense issues were not officially discussed, although the base for the exchange of views among the BRICS countries is extensive.
The association includes three nuclear powers (Russia, China and India), is distinguished by impressive military power (Russia, China, India and Brazil). In the Global Firepower rating, the total defense spending of the BRICS countries before the expansion was about $400 billion.
In the global economy, the share of BRICS before expansion was 32%, after the decision to accept new members of BRICS GDP in terms of purchasing power parity will reach 37%. The share of the G7 countries is 31%.
BRICS is almost 26% of the world and about 45% of the world's population. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Algeria, Brazil and Russia control over 45% of oil reserves.
By applying to join the BRICS, Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, is demonstrating its desire to become an independent player, writes Le Figaro. Riyadh wants to weaken ties with the United States and has already demonstrated this by refusing to condemn Russia for the conflict in Ukraine.
BRICS expansion threatens to change global energy markets, writes OilPrice. Integration into the BRICS of the OPEC countries and the largest oil and gas exporters could threaten the energy interests of the West.
A powerful energy bloc is being formed, uniting oil and gas importers in combination with key energy exporters - Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Egypt and the UAE. Although this is not due to official membership in BRICS or OPEC +, the coincidence of the interests of these countries threatens a revolution in the energy and commodity markets.
According to Western observers, BRICS projects in Africa, especially in the mining, mineral and metallurgical industries, deserve attention. Joining new members with reserves of critical mineral and metallurgical resources could increase the coalition's international weight. Movement in this direction can be led by China and Russia.
The expansion of BRICS is fraught with consequences not only for the dollar, but also for the world influence of the West and its access to energy resources and commodity and economic relations. Not only are Africa's hydrocarbons and mineral wealth on the agenda, but supply chains, maritime trade routes are also on the agenda.
After joining the association of new members, its name is not planned to be changed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the BRICS name was already a brand. Russia will preside over the BRICS next year.
As one Middle Eastern observer pointed out when talking about the significance of the BRICS 2023 summit in Johannesburg, the past decades can be considered "Hollywood," but it's time to write "The End of the Film" on screen.