BRICS should have dialogue with the West, not confrontation, say experts

BRICS is a powerful political force. Source: AP

BRICS is a powerful political force. Source: AP

The BRICS nations are becoming more and more influential in the global political system, but even as they expand their global profile, they should avoid confrontation with the West and cooperate to help stabilize a changing world order through dialogue, say experts who participated in a recent Moscow-Delhi video-conference organised by international media agency Rossiya Segodnya.

The BRICS grouping of emerging economies is set to become more powerful in the shifting international order. The prospects of enhanced intra-BRICS cooperation and the increasing global profile of the grouping dominated views of Indian and Russian experts at a Moscow-Delhi video-conference organised by international media agency Rossiya Segodnya.

Sweeping changes are currently taking place within the international system, where developing countries are becoming more economically powerful than longstanding leaders, the western nations, said Gleb Ivashentsov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and a member of the Russian International Affairs Council. "BRICS is a powerful political force. We see that the confrontation between East and West in the world today is escalating. The West, which is losing its economic position, is trying to withstand the arrival of the East. And BRICS is not simply the East, it is a global East, because it unites the developing and growing economies of four continents,” said Ivashentsev.

Participating in the discussions, the Russian expert underlined that “the leverage of the BRICS economies is growing all the time.” “Over the next few years the aggregate GDP of BRICS countries will overtake the GDP of the G7. But the West is trying to prevent the East from developing. For this reason, BRICS aims to participate in the financial-currency sphere, to develop its own economic strategy in practically all areas,” he added.

Nandan Unnikrishnan, vice-president of Observer Research Foundation, the Delhi-headquartered think tank,  agrees that the increasing tension between the West and the rest of the world is a characteristic of the actual situation in global politics. "Today the world is facing a severe geopolitical crisis, it seems to me that this is one problem that BRICS should be involved in. Changes that are now occurring in geopolitics are connected primarily to conflict with the West, a conflict of how the West perceives the rest of the world, and indeed, the realities in the rest of the world,” he said.

Key to stability – avoid confrontation

Discussing ways of stabilizing the global situation, Unnikrishnan observed that the “BRICS’s success will be in how it navigates these dangerous waters, not becoming a bloc aimed against anybody.”

Ivashentsov agreed with this assessment, and pointed out that the BRICS should have a dialogue with the West and other members of the international community. "Our collaborative work at BRICS should not be aimed against any particular state or faction. It should be aimed at uniting various tendencies in the world on the basis of agreement and compromise. We support the involvement of all countries in our general work,” said Ivashentsov.

In this sense, the policies of the UN play an important role, according to the expert.  "It is very important that our countries play a meaningful role in the UN. After all, Russia and China are permanent members of the Security Council and India, Brazil and South Africa are also candidates for Security Council membership at the UN. Incidentally, Russia will support their nomination if this is discussed,” he said. “That is to say, that we, the five BRICS nations, must work in all forums towards a rapprochement among all members of the international community and to strengthen the UN’s leading role,” said the expert.

Unnikrishnan, however, cautioned against excessive optimism about the possibilities of the BRICS countries coordinating policy within the framework of the United Nations or to expand its presence in the Security Council. "When talking about political rules, the United Nations is really very important, but I think that the BRICS are not yet ready to develop a general political position,” he said. He agreed that all BRICS members should be on the Security Council, but stressed that it is necessary to avoid what in India is known as the ‘Passenger Compartment Effect’. “You loudly knock on the door while you are outside, but as soon as you are let in, you close the door and refuse to let anyone else in because there is not enough space.”

First published in Russian by RIA Novosti.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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