Russian diplomat: BRICS expansion yet to be on agenda
As of now, the BRICS does not intend to change its abbreviation, although the organization has welcomed a big interest from a number of international players.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Wednesday that the enlargement of BRICS or the change of its official name, are currently not on the bloc's agenda.
"I would not say that, as of now, the expansion of BRICS is on the agenda. For sure, we have welcomed a big interest from a number of international players," Ryabkov said in an interview with the Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn magazine.
The diplomat noted that BRICS does not have an expansion procedure as such, adding that there are formats where cooperation with BRICS has been increasingly practiced, like BRICS-Plus.
"We will see what happens next. It is too early to talk about the change of the abbreviation. Moreover, we still have not formulated our approach and we will be doing this," Ryabkov also said.
Recently, BRICS countries have agreed on the idea that cooperation needs new member states. Most recently at the end of June, Iran applied for membership.
During the 14th annual BRICS meeting, Chinese Leader Xi Jinping stressed the necessity to "expand BRICS cooperation on cross-border payment and credit rating to facilitate trade, investment, and financing among our countries" but also to secure world peace and tranquility from "the dark clouds of Cold War mentality and power politics".
Despite the fact that there are no set dates for the expansion, all BRICS countries agreed that the BRICS format should be open to new members' participation.
In June, Iran applied for membership, with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi expressing Iran's readiness to share its vast capabilities and potential to help the BRICS achieve its goals.
In July, it was reported that Argentina expects to join the group in near future after receiving support from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Nigerian Ambassador to Russia Abdullahi Shehu also said in July that Nigeria is not opposed to joining BRICS - if the possibility is presented to it.
Egypt has likewise shown interest in the endeavor.
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) is an informal association of the world's major developing economies, which was formed in 2009 to enhance cooperation between the nations and elaborate common approaches to global economic challenges.