Posted: 30.08.2023 16:51:00

The world is changing

The G7 countries are increasingly losing not only their economic power, but also their political positions. This was once again confirmed by the BRICS summit.

From August 22nd to August 24th, Johannesburg, the largest and richest city in the South African Republic, hosted the 15th summit of one of the largest economic associations in the world under the telling title: ‘BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism’. The five founding countries of this union (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) today represent 42 percent of the world’s population, 26 percent of all land (with incalculable natural resources) and from a quarter to almost a third of the world’s GDP. According to the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the BRICS five will reach the coveted figure by 2028 — 33.6 percent of all goods and services produced in the world. Already now it has surpassed the G7 countries (USA, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada) in terms of development and contribution to the world economy!


The President of Belarus,
Aleksandr Lukashenko,

“The West is trying to maintain its dominance in a number of areas of economy and finance, to restrain the development of countries it dislikes, it imposes illegal barbaric sanctions against them. In order to effectively counter this, Belarus is actively promoting the idea of global development. We consistently advocate the formation of a large Eurasian partnership with our long-standing partners — China, India, Pakistan, Iran, the CIS states — and the alignment of the EAEU, SCO and BRICS formats in a broad context.”

During meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State
on July 4th

On the wishlist

Representatives of more than 60 states arrived in South Africa for the summit. And at least 20 countries, to one degree or another, expressed their readiness to join the union in the near or medium term. In early August, two states loudly declared their desire to do so: Bolivia and Venezuela. Even earlier, Saudi Arabia spoke openly about its decision to join the BRICS, which puzzled its, we dare to think, almost former geopolitical ally — the United States.
And it is gratifying that for the first time among the guests at the current summit is the Belarusian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik, who held a number of important meetings at the summit. Only in July of this year, Belarus handed a note to Brazil, where it clearly indicated its intention to become a full-fledged member of the association in the future, and now, after a month and a half, it is probing the real ground and establishing contacts for the necessary interaction with all countries that consider BRICS as a platform for building a new global society based on equally shared rules of mutual respect and taking into account the interests of partners.

Six new countries were invited to BRICS
The leaders of the BRICS countries decided to invite Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to become full members of the alliance. This statement was made by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during his speech at the summit. The President of South Africa noted that the admission of new members to the BRICS is the first phase of the process to expand the alliance. Ramaphosa added that the full membership of the new countries will begin on January 1st, 2024.

To a new world — under new rules?

Of course, no one expected the instant entry of new members into the BRICS precisely in these August days, especially since the existing members of the union have different approaches to this issue. While China, Russia, and South Africa were initially quite sympathetic to the expansion of the association, India and Brazil showed a certain restraint.
You can understand them: the union was created to ensure the faster development of the economies of the participating countries on the basis of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit. Demographic and natural resources were combined with technology and logistics, which should have given (and gave) an impetus to accelerate production and trade. However, the inclusion in the BRICS of countries with fewer resources and significant economic problems (to be honest, the same Venezuela is by no means distinguished by sustainable economic growth) can lead to a braking effect. 
Before our eyes is the example of the European Union, which, due to exorbitant political ambitions, expanded at the expense of small (and poor) countries, which turned into eternal recipients of sponsorship from Brussels.
Therefore, there are calls to introduce and write down in the documents some more specific rules for admission and the necessary standards of compliance for new BRICS participants. It is also necessary to outline the principles of relations with other international organisations and unions.
Therefore, there is still a lot of work, but it just can lead to reformatting the entire world system of international relations and creating a more just and inclusive world order.

Currency passions and political intrigues

One of the important elements in the struggle for economic justice and sovereignty of the BRICS countries is the reform of the global financial system, or rather, the departure from the hegemony of the dollar in international settlements. 
The BRICS countries are increasingly switching to mutual settlements in national currencies, the yuan is often used as a reserve currency within the association. And on the eve of the summit in Johannesburg, the topic of creating their own BRICS currency was actively raised. Of course, we are not talking about the fact that from tomorrow there will be some new monetary unit. On the eve and during the summit, the problems of settlements in the digital environment, the potential possibility of creating a common BRICS electronic currency were discussed.
The question of a more active use of the currencies of other states (in particular, African ones) in mutual settlements was also considered as a proposal. The same BRICS New Development Bank will gradually be able to take control of financial and investment flows within the organisation, without burdening its debtors with unnecessary political obligations and restrictions, as is now happening with those who use the services of the IMF or the World Bank.
The time of uncontested hegemony of the West is inexorably running out.

Belarus took part in the BRICS summit this year for the first time 
Not so long ago, our country applied to join the BRICS in the BRICS+ format. By decision of the Head of State, the Belarusian delegation went to the summit in South Africa led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik. In the days of work in the African country, the head of the foreign policy department held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. They were told in the press service of the department.
So, Sergei Aleinik discussed with the President of the State of Eritrea Isaias Afewerki common ground in order to revive bilateral relations.
During the talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Co-operation and Diaspora of Equatorial Guinea Simeon Oyono Esono Angue they discussed the intensification of practical contacts at various levels, including the exchange of visits, the expansion of the bilateral legal framework, the situation in the African region.
Sergei Aleinik also discussed the supply of domestic products, including its high-tech segment, cooperation in the field of agriculture during a meeting with the Minister of Economic Coordination of the Republic of Angola José de Lima.
The Head of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs held detailed talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Faisal ibn Farhan ibn Abdullah Al Saud. There were also talks with President of Brazil Luiz Lula da Silva and President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi, as well as meetings with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi, Head of Iranian Diplomacy Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Foreign Ministers of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Russia Sergey Lavrov, colleagues from Cuba, Kenya, Algeria, Tunisia, Burundi, Togo and heads of several other delegations. 
The intensification of the political dialogue, the schedule of contacts and visits at various levels, the economy and mutual trade, the work of the joint intergovernmental committee, the prospects for simplifying the visa regime — an incomplete list of topics discussed. The parties also confirmed the coincidence of views on key issues of the current global agenda.
According to analyst at the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (BISR) Olga Lazorkina, Belarus has vast experience in working on international platforms, “Participation in the BRICS summit solves several problems. Belarusian diplomacy should be in the thick of world events, represent the opinions and views of the country, which is in the wake of the transformation of the international order. The economic agenda of the summit fully meets the goals of Belarus — accelerated growth and sustainable development. Therefore, it is important to clearly understand the interests of partners, the direction of their movement and coordinate actions both in regional and global formats.”

By political scientist, candidate of historical sciences Aleksei Belyaev