Ahead of a Brics summit in South Africa next week, Russia has called for reshaping the group of five emerging countries from a discussion club into a new mechanism of “global governance”.
The Concept of Russia’s Participation in Brics, signed by President Vladimir Putin and posted on his official website on Thursday, lays out Russia’s vision of the future of Brics, which is a “key long-term vector of Russia’s foreign policy”.
Given political will of the members — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — Brics “can potentially become a key element of a new system of global governance, first of all, in the financial and economic areas” and “a new model of global relations, overarching the old dividing lines between East and West, and North and South,” says the statement.
Speaking after unveiling the concept, Mr. Putin said Russia wanted Brics to evolve into “a full-scale strategic cooperation mechanism”.
To achieve this goal Russia has proposed a number of steps Brics should take in the coming years. These include creating a network of “informal political and working-level mechanisms to strengthen coordination”, introducing rotating presidency, drafting a long-term “Brics development strategy” and launching “a dialogue on ways, pace and concrete forms of possible institutionalisation of Brics”, including the establishment of a “permanent secretariat”.
To facilitate this work Brics, in Russia’s view, should refrain from admitting new members over the next three to four years.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Brics was “on the threshold” of approving the establishment of its own bank of development.
“Experts have done their work and it is now up to the Brics leaders to take the decision,” Mr. Ryabkov revealed.
The Russian diplomat said creating a “basket of currencies” to reduce dependence on the U.S. dollar was also very much on the agenda of Brics.
Mr. Ryabkov rejected speculation that Brics could eventually eclipse such regional forums as RIC (Russia-India-China) and IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa).
“These forums have their own regional agendas and are an integral part of the new world order,” the Deputy Foreign Minister said.