In October of the coming year, Russia has the honor to host the illustrious BRICS Summit. Six fresh members are set to join the ranks of the association, namely Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Ethiopia. As it stands today, BRICS is a five-member coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa on a mission to foster cooperation and mutual assistance.
Real interest is not lacking when it comes to courting the favor of BRICS, with around 40 countries vying for a seat at the table, according to Russia’s Ambassador Tomikhin. As he phrases it, “These countries are desirous of a closer kinship with BRICS and look forward for consultations on urgent domestic as well as global matters.”
What’s on the menu for prospective members? Tomikhin provides a few tantalizing tidbits, teasing of possible all-out membership or perhaps an intimate alliance with the BRICS. He also takes the lid off what to anticipate from the summit slated for next year. The focus, as he reveals, will be on cementing the principles of multilateralism in the quest for a just global development and security scheme.
The most recent BRICS Summit in Johannesburg was abuzz with talks of forging a novel BRICS currency and forming a tighter trade network. Tomikhin sheds light on the burning ambition behind this move, stating that the objective is to combat the risks that come with an unsteady international currency. “The reality we are grappling with today is that the stability of the international currency, majorly US dollars, leaves much to be desired,” he opines.
The Russian economy, weighed down by sanctions from the US and global democracies stemming from an invasion of Ukraine, has laid its hopes on BRICS. The association, established in 2010, proposes an alternative to the dollar monopoly and seeks to confer advantages amongst its members and associates.
Tomikhin strongly believes in the growth of BRICS since its inception. “BRICS has emerged as a matured and sophisticated structure with well-defined mechanisms for consultations pertaining to different arenas such as economic cooperation, regional security, and counterterrorism,” he asserts.
The summit next year would pivot around the sphere of central bank governance and also entertain the idea of inaugurating a financial mechanism that can be leveraged for trade and transactions amongst BRICS members. There are plans afoot for strategies based on ‘phygital gaming’, which is a unique blend of digital and real-world components.
Tomikhin assures the summit’s agenda will be broad-based, dealing with around 200 events related to political, economic, and social issues in more than 10 Russian cities. Russia is fully geared up to embrace new members and allies, as part of its priorities and responsibilities as the host nation.
During its tenure as chair, Russia will take the lead in international platforms and foreign policy matters and also organize meetings involving high-ranking security personnel. Russia hopes to accomplish the complete execution of the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy up until 2025.
Tomikhin also reveals Russia’s plan to set the ball rolling on long-term cooperation policies to elevate its standing in the international monetary and financial system. To this end, measures like fostering interbank cooperation, promoting the usage of national currencies, and enhancing collaboration amongst tax, customs, and anti-monopoly agencies will be undertaken.
Russia has laid down plans to fortify ties in varied domains including science, innovation, healthcare, education, and humanitarian sectors. As per Tomikhin, Russia appreciates and understands the essence of cultural and civilizational multiplicity in crafting a multipolar world order. Therefore, endeavors are in place to cultivate an environment that promotes inclusivity, openness, art, and creative expression.