BRICS kicks off member accession talks: Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the BRICS bloc is opening the door for new members to get into the alliance as its members discuss the candidates.
The BRICS nations have initiated efforts to align their positions on accepting new members into the group of emerging economies, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed in an interview with RT on Friday.
Lavrov mentioned that during the August summit in Johannesburg, experts will brief the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa on the possibilities of expansion.
The top diplomat explained that BRICS operates on a consensus rule and is currently in the process of coordinating its stance on enlargement.
He also revealed that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, and Egypt are among the aspiring candidates for membership, considering them as influential leaders of the Arab world. Lavrov expressed his belief that their inclusion would undoubtedly enhance BRICS and emphasized their readiness to swiftly find solutions.
Apart from the aforementioned candidates, Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, and Turkey have also expressed interest in joining the BRICS bloc of developing economies. Together, the BRICS nations contribute to approximately a quarter of the global gross domestic product, 18% of global trade in goods, and account for over 40% of the world's population.
Moreover, Syrian Finance Minister Kanaan Yaghi revealed that Damascus intends to apply to join the BRICS alliance, the bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
There are also plans to open a Sberbank branch in Syria, Yaghi told Russian news agency Sputnik during an interview.
Wang Zhimin, the head of the China Research Institute of Modernization and Globalization, told Sputnik that 13 countries have expressed their desire to join the BRICS alliance.
"Everyone knows that the idea of 'BRICS+' was put forward to gradually increase dialogue and cooperation between BRICS countries, developing countries, and actively developing economies," Wang said.
The announcement came after Egypt said Wednesday that it applied to join BRICS.
"Egypt has applied to join the BRICS group because one of the initiatives that BRICS is currently engaged in is the maximum transfer of trade to alternative currencies, whether national or the creation of some kind of joint currency," Russian Ambassador Georgy Borisenko said.
"Egypt is very interested in this," the Russian diplomat underlined as the bloc heads toward further expansion.
Egypt expressed its desire to develop trade and economic cooperation with Russia, the top diplomat said. There is a process of building "new mechanisms for mutual settlements in these trade operations."
BRICS countries are de-dollarizing trade, as China and Brazil struck a deal to ditch the US dollar in their bilateral transactions, which is expected to reduce investment costs and develop economic ties between the two countries.
Put forward by Brazil, the proposal is due to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the board of directors set to take place at the beginning of August in South Africa.
It was reported earlier that South Africa would provide foreign officials attending the BRICS summit hosted by the country in August with diplomatic immunity.
Moreover, the foreign ministers of BRICS' founding member states said the bloc was open to new members in light of their aspirations for a greater say in international affairs.