Russia to prioritize Kazakhstan and Belarus as BRICS expansion continues

Amid the ongoing expansion of the BRICS group, Russia announced on Friday that it will accord priority to the candidacies of Kazakhstan and Belarus. The BRICS summit in Johannesburg marked the inclusion of six new members, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Argentina, scheduled to become official members on January 1, 2024. The group remains open to further enlargement, with several other countries expressing interest in joining the economic bloc.

Yayınlanma: 25.08.2023 - 17:28
Russia to prioritize Kazakhstan and Belarus as BRICS expansion continues
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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, during a press briefing in Moscow, emphasized the close partnership between Russia and Kazakhstan and Belarus. He affirmed that these countries will receive special consideration in the expansion process. Ryabkov underlined that the leaders of the current BRICS members, including China, Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa, exhibit "undeniable" interest in the expansion. He expressed confidence that the newly admitted members will contribute significantly to the group's objectives.

Highlighting the historical and cultural significance of Kazakhstan and Belarus, Ryabkov stated that they possess substantial economic potential and play influential roles both regionally and globally. He disclosed that 15 other applications for membership are currently under review. Ryabkov emphasized that successful entrants should not only support but also share the fundamental values of BRICS, including solidarity, equality, mutual respect, openness, inclusiveness, and mutually beneficial cooperation. The minister underscored that political will and a resolute determination to progress are crucial.

Ryabkov elucidated Russia's aim to enhance the bloc's role and authority, particularly as the host of next year's summit in Kazan. He clarified that invitations to countries from the "Western group" are categorically excluded from consideration. The BRICS, initially founded as a four-nation alliance in 2009, incorporated South Africa a year later.


Sergey Ryabkov also addressed recent remarks made by US President Joe Biden concerning a plane crash in Russia's Tver region, which claimed the lives of all 10 passengers, including Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner paramilitary group.

Ryabkov critiqued Biden's comments, characterizing them as reflective of a general disregard for diplomatic protocol. He deemed it inappropriate for the US president to discuss such tragic events without a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Biden's statement had alluded to possible Russian government involvement in the incident, to which Ryabkov responded that such assumptions lack substantiated evidence.

Biden's assessment, formulated without concrete facts, signifies a tendency to associate significant events in Russia with President Vladimir Putin, according to Ryabkov. He concluded by reiterating the necessity for diplomatic engagement based on well-informed insights.

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