The BRICS Summit in Sanya is the group’s first meeting since being joined by South Africa, resulting in a name change from BRIC to BRICS. Opinions among experts and journalists vary widely as to why the leaders of large and economically influential states from different continents hold periodical meetings. Some say they do it to underline their importance, while others see it as an ingenious plan to create an anti-Western coalition.
In fact, BRICS is an idea that has become reality. It is almost as if, having read the famous report by Goldman Sachs that first formulated the BRIC idea several years ago, the leaders of the four states decided that they did, after all, have something in common.
As the only country that belongs to both G8 and BRICS, Russia can be a bridge between the Western and non-Western worlds.
Because the consolidation of BRIC coincided with the world financial crisis, BRIC has started positioning itself as a centre for developing solutions providing an alternative to what the G8 offers G20 countries. It should be noted that, previously, within the G20, which was created to address the world’s economic problems, only the G8 group, reflecting the interests of developed countries, was really active. Naturally, all the other states that sometimes held different views wanted to see a centre that would come up with proposals reflecting their interests as well.
After the disintegration of the USSR, there was a period when the US dominated the world. This caused resentment in many capitals of large states on various continents whose interests differed from those of the West, yet they did not have enough clout to stand up for them single-handed. This is not to say that BRICS is trying to occupy the geopolitical niche vacated by the former USSR. In a rapidly globalising world, everything is interconnected and no country’s development is possible without cooperation with the most advanced economies.
This is borne out by the agenda of the Sanya summit, which includes development of world markets, post-crisis regulation, and reform of the world banking and currency systems and institutions. True, BRICS is gradually going beyond the confines of the economy to become a centre generating proposals reflecting the interests of the non-Western world on a whole range of acute problems of our time.
As the only G8 and BRICS member, Russia has a particularly advantageous position. Today, with its cooperation with the West developing along constructive lines, there is no question of it taking an anti-Western “solo voyage” position. On the contrary, within BRICS, Russia can be a bridge between the Western and non-Western worlds, as is prompted by current geopolitical realities.
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