BRICS leaders to discuss establishment of 'virtual secretariat'

The leaders of Russia, South Africa, China, India and Brazil, who will meet at a BRICS summit in Durban on March 26-27, will consider the possible establishment of the organization's 'virtual secretariat', Kommersant reported on Wednesday.

"A preliminary agenda of the top-level meeting has already been made public. It is planned to discuss the establishment of a permanent business council, a research center, and a common bank for BRICS. In addition, […] the idea of establishing the organization's 'virtual secretariat' may take shape," it said.

In fact, a virtual secretariat is an Internet portal, whose public section will post documents and reports on BRICS activities and analytical commentaries, while its closed-access section will be used for confidential correspondence between the member-states' ministers, it said.

A source from the Russian delegation told Kommersant that the main result of the BRICS summit in Delhi was that the organization assumed a political dimension, as its final declaration aired the five countries' common position on Syria, Iran and other key issues. In addition, the participants decided a year ago to plan a BRICS development concept.

Kommersant learned that the National Committee on BRICS Studies in Russia is drawing up its own strategy version. This document numbering over 100 pages will be presented at the summit.

It was reported earlier that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his South African counterpart discussed preparations for President Vladimir Putin's visit to South Africa at a recent meeting in Pretoria.

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