The BRICS reiterate their desire to expand the bloc and Lavrov announces that the next summit will be held in Russia

Second day of the meeting at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, where sentiment among attendees continues to soar in a climate of camaraderie that borders on the familiar. What began with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dancing a traditional South African dance upon arrival at the airport continued today with proclamations from the bloc leaders referring to the BRICS as a viable alternative to Western hegemony.

Leader after leader confirmed a possible expansion. This was stated by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first speech on Wednesday, in which he assured that “we are in the process of expanding the BRICS family” and added that all members support the proposal. Brazilian President Lula da Silva expressed that “the interest of various countries in joining the group is a recognition of its growing importance.” Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that “BRICS (…) bring other countries into the family have to integrate.” The family, a useful word. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not want to deviate from the script either, stating: “India fully supports the expansion of BRICS membership and is pleased to see consensus approaching.”

Vladimir Putin wanted to address other issues in his video appearance (the Russian President was unable to attend the meeting due to the arrest warrant issued against him by the ICC earlier this year and was punished in the Kremlin). He devoted almost the entire speech to justifying the invasion of Ukraine. Sentences like “an unconstitutional coup was carried out in the country with the help of Western nations”, “our actions in Ukraine are determined solely by the intention to end the war started by the West” or “the desire of certain countries to continue it.” “Your Hegemony has brought Ukraine into a serious crisis” were repeated over and over again, while behind them the flags of the five BRICS countries hung. Some talked about pears and Putin became obsessed with talking about apples and portraying himself without anyone having to explain how.

A multipolar international order

Another important point that will influence the summit would be the interest of the five nations in the creation “A Multipolar International Order” to avoid American influence. Some of the leaders expressed a “non-aligned position,” borrowing the old Cold War terminology.But Lula wanted to emphasize in his speech that “the war in Ukraine clearly shows the limits of the (UN) Security Council. The BRICS must act as a force for understanding and cooperation.” Russia and China have veto powers in the United States The Security Council of Nations, but Lula’s words sounded the same.

The second day of meetings seemed a déjà vu from the first moment. Terms such as expansion, equality, a multipolar world and a separate financial system have been repeated in successive statements by leaders. Lula and Putin threw their darts at the United StatesThe latter denounced Russia’s “illegitimate sanctions and illegal asset freezes” and recalled his list of reasons that would explain the invasion of Ukraine. Amidst this familiar and slightly celebratory atmosphere in view of the possibility of bloc expansion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the 2024 BRICS summit would be held in Russia. He had to say it and throw a tantrum.

Also on the summit’s agenda is finding alternatives to the dollar in its trade transactions, which Lula says could be achieved by creating “our own financial systems.” “We need an international financial system that, rather than fueling inequality, helps low- and middle-income countries implement structural change.”he explained before again mentioning the possibility of creating a specific currency for trade and investment transactions between the members of the bloc.

A smart idea because the Brazilian real has been in a downward trend for more than three years, the ruble is at historic lows today, the yuan is currently going through a process of deflation, the rupee has not stopped falling over the last year The euro and the South African rands are at their lowest in more than five years.

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