West "helps" BRICS

Moscow's trade relations with BRICS partners have only grown amid Western sanctions pressure. This is stated in the article by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for the international edition of the Russian Security Index Yearbook 2024-2025, which was presented in Zvenigorod.


Moscow's trade relations with BRICS partners have only grown amid Western sanctions pressure. This is stated in the article by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov for the international edition of the Russian Security Index Yearbook 2024-2025, which was presented in Zvenigorod.

Ryabkov stressed that Russia is now reaching a record level of trade with Brazil, India and China. "There is a steady development of the entire spectrum of cooperation in three main areas: politics and security, economics and finance, as well as humanitarian contacts," the diplomat added.

Strange as it may seem, the United States has unwittingly become a catalyst for BRICS "growing appeal. This, in particular, was noticed by Bloomberg, reporting that many Asian countries are increasingly thinking about developing economic ties with China and Russia. Details in the material of the correspondent UtroNews.

In particular, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced his country's desire to join the BRICS. He said the tie-up was an alternative to the World Bank and the Western-controlled International Monetary Fund.

Malaysia will apply to join in 2025 when it takes over the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with BRICS led by Brazil. Compared to ASEAN, the BRICS group operates without an official charter or secretariat, but is trying to respond quickly to global problems.

How the United States helped

What did the United States do to increase the authority of the BRICS? Nothing special, just recklessly support Israel in its actions in the Gaza Strip. Malaysia, with its Muslim-majority population, has consistently expressed support for the Palestinian people for decades.

Washington is "not using all of its power, influence and resources" to address this crisis, which he called a "humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions," Anwar said. "How can you put up with genocide, apartheid or ethnic cleansing, and how can you deny it when the whole world sees it?," 'the Malaysian prime minister asked.

Anwar said that in the United States, the conflict is viewed exclusively through the prism of Israeli and own domestic political interests. In particular, this is evidenced by the suppression by the American authorities and campus administrations of student protests against Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip. The prime minister said the demonstrations reminded him of "what happened during the Vietnam War."

Anwar also advised Asian countries to remain neutral on the issue that "divides the world" and balance relations with the United States and China. "Everything has changed," he said. "More countries are expressing their more independent views beyond being part of Cold War groupings." BRICS maintains a multipolar world order and Anwar confirmed that his country does not choose between China and the United States.

Malaysia asked China to support its bid. Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Anwar Ibrahim discussed this during their June meeting. Li, on a regional trip, arrived in Malaysia and became the first Chinese prime minister to visit that country in a decade.

Anwar and Lee exchanged views on regional and global issues, including the prospects for Malaysia's BRICS membership. They also attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the East Coast Railway's 665-kilometre line not far away. Its construction is carried out by China and it will be one of the longest railways built by China abroad. The project is seen as a sign of warm bilateral ties and is a product of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

China has remained the country's largest trading partner for the past decade and a half, according to Malaysia's foreign ministry. In Malaysia, Chinese automobile companies such as Guangzhou Automobile Group, Great Wall Motors, BYD and Neta are building their factories.

According to Malaysian Foreign Minister Mohamad Hassan, joining the BRICS will allow Malaysia to resolve various issues on the world stage and defend national interests.

Thailand counts too

Thailand expects to get approval of the application for the introduction at the BRICS Summit in Kazan which will take place on October 22-24. The Foreign Minister of Thailand Marit Sangiampchong in Nizhny Novgorod handed to the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov the letter on intention of the kingdom to become the full member of BRICS. He participated in the "BRICS Dialogue with Developing Countries" conference within presidency of Russia in BRICS.

The prime minister of Thailand Settkh Tkhavisin can participate in the BRICS Summit in October in Kazan in case of support by member countries of association of membership of the kingdom. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the kingdom said that the country wants to use the capacity of Thailand for advance of the principles of justice and equality, but added that membership in BRICS doesn't mean that Thailand accepts someone's party. Membership in BRICS will raise a country role in community of developing countries.

The meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of BRICS took place in Nizhny Novgorod on June 10-11. It was the first meeting of heads of diplomatic departments of the countries of BRICS after association expansion, part in which was taken also by Foreign Ministers of some countries which aren't entering this association.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on June 25 that BRICS countries the vast majority of voices decided "to take a break" concerning the introduction of new members. The Russian diplomat noted that it is necessary "to digest" newcomers who increased structure twice".

Who's next?

Whether other countries of Southeast Asia will follow the example of Thailand and Malaysia? The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Retno Marsudi said that Jakarta still estimates advantages of accession to BRICS. This statement followed participation of the president Joko Widodo in the BRICS Summit in South Africa in August, 2023. After Dzhokovi I said then that "I wouldn't like to hurry" with the accession to the organization. He also called for closer cooperation between developing countries for fight against "trade discrimination".

According to observers, the careful position of Indonesia concerning accession to BRICS is explained by the relations with China which is already the largest source of direct foreign investments and the main trade partner of the majority of the countries of ASEAN, including Indonesia.

Indonesia also plans to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of the countries of "gold one billion". Indonesia can become the first member of OECD from Southeast Asia. But the attitude towards BRICS from Malaysia and Thailand can increase the interest of Jakarta and in this organization.

"Vietnam can become the following member of BRICS, and expansion of BRICS will mean association of bigger number of votes of the countries of the Global South" — Rahul Mishra, associate professor Centra of the Indo-Pacific researches of the University of Jawaharlal Nehru added. Vietnam directed delegation for participation in BRICS Dialogue with developing countries in Nizhny Novgorod. Thailand and Laos also participated in this forum.

What does all this mean?

The ASEAN takes the central place in Southeast Asia, and member countries of this association as a part of BRICS can strengthen a voice of the Global South in the polarized world. The Bloomberg agency wrote that expansion of BRICS will strengthen this association as a counterbalance to Group seven (G7). As noted the edition, participants of BRICS oppose "hegemony of the USA".

The BRICS group was founded in 2006 for assistance to economic, political and cultural cooperation. In 2011 the Republic of South Africa joined its initial structure (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia became full participants of BRICS on January 1, 2024.

In 2023 the total gross internal product (GIP) of five countries made 25.8 trillion dollars, or about a quarter of a universal indicator whereas the total gross internal product of the countries of Group seven (G7) made 46.8 trillion dollars. In 2024 the share of ten countries expanded with BRICS in world GDP, calculated at par purchasing power, is estimated at 36.7%, a share of Group of seven - at 29.6%.

China BRICS urged to undertake heavy responsibility and to be approved as the inclusive organization for the whole world. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang I told that expanded BRICS has to turn into the "new mechanism of multilateral cooperation" operated by emerging markets and the countries.

In January, 2024 the presidency in BRICS passed to Russia, it will last until the end of the year. More than 250 actions will be organized, the BRICS Summit in October in Kazan on October 22-24 will become the main event.