The upcoming BRICS summit, scheduled to be held in Kazan next year, is anticipated to go beyond its current five-member lineup, as revealed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. Russia, set to chair the BRICS group of developing economies in 2024, remains open to the possibility of admitting new member states to the organization.
During a press briefing, Ryabkov emphasized that the parameters of BRICS expansion are yet to be defined, and the number of heads of state attending the summit in Kazan remains an open question. He expressed optimism that the gathering is likely to include more participants than the current five members: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The decision for Russian President Vladimir Putin to participate in the previous Johannesburg summit via video link has been interpreted as a reflection of the Russian leadership’s unwavering focus on the BRICS format rather than an indication of reduced attention to the group.
The forthcoming BRICS summit, scheduled for August 22-24 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is expected to delve into the topic of enlargement, exploring the potential addition of new member states. This summit holds particular significance as it will be the highest-level forum hosted by Russia in Kazan, the capital city of its Republic of Tatarstan.
President Putin’s remote participation in the upcoming Johannesburg summit is a consequence of an indictment and an arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) concerning the conflict in Ukraine.
The possibility of BRICS enlargement has garnered attention in recent months, with growing interest from various countries seeking membership. For instance, India’s Business Standard daily mentioned that potential inductees at the summit might include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Egypt, and Argentina.
According to South Africa’s top diplomat responsible for BRICS relations, Anil Sooklal, over 40 countries have expressed interest in joining the economic bloc, with 22 nations already formally applying for membership. Sooklal envisions that the organization may eventually expand to encompass more than 50 members, showcasing the widespread appeal and influence of BRICS on the global stage.
As Russia prepares to take the helm of BRICS next year and host the significant summit in Kazan, the world awaits developments regarding the potential addition of new participants to this prominent group of emerging economies.