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BRICS Leaders Attend Summit In South Africa, Putin Absent

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BRICS- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa- holds its three-day summit in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The leaders of the groups’ members will deliberate on expanding membership as some members show urgency to stand the bloc strong against the West, especially the United States.

A push to strengthen the bloc, which has occasionally been hampered by internal strife and a lack of a clear vision, has become even more urgent in light of the increased international tensions caused by the conflict in Ukraine and the growing competition between China and the United States.

Before the summit, host South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “An expanded BRICS will represent a diverse group of nations with different political systems that share a common desire to have a more balanced global order.”

The Summit will also discuss on strengthening local currencies of the member nations. However, the idea of a BRICS currency will not be discussed on. It was pushed by Brazil earlier this year to shift from the dependency of the US Dollar.

From August 22 to August 24, Ramaphosa will host the leaders of China’s Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and India’s Narendra Modi.

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who is wanted on a global arrest warrant for allegedly committing war crimes in Ukraine, will join digitally rather than physically in South Africa.

China, a major player in the bloc, has long sought to expand, hoping that more members will give the organisation more clout given that it is already home for around 40% of the world’s population and a quarter of world’s GDP.

On Tuesday night, the leaders will have dinner and a mini-retreat where they’ll probably talk about the process and standards for accepting new nations.

However, growth has now become a contentious issue.

In order to combat its diplomatic isolation as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is eager to enlist new members. South Africa has also offered their backing.

India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra stated on Monday that the nation, which is leery of Chinese domination and has cautioned against hasty expansion, has “positive intent and an open mind.” Brazil is worried that the expanding BRICS will lessen its power.

A possible BRICS expansion is uncertain, but the group has promised to stand up for the growing “Global South” and provide an alternative to the current global order. According to South African officials, over two dozen of the more than 40 nations that have shown interest in joining BRICS have done so formally.

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