The leaders of the BRICS states will discuss the organization’s enlargement when they meet in South Africa, the country’s president indicated. The summit is set take place in August when over a dozen countries will hope to be given a path to membership.
Nearly 20 Nations Aspire for BRICS Membership, SA President Ramaphosa Says
Leaders of the five BRICS members (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) will talk about the group’s expansion at their summit scheduled for August, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed. Ramaphosa told the SABC radio:
As we speak now, close to 20 or so of others want to join BRICS and they want us to admit them into the BRICS family. So, at this summit, we are also going to be discussing the prospect of whether BRICS grows beyond the five countries or not.
Media reports and official statements in the past few months have unveiled that a number of countries are seeking to become BRICS members. In April, South Africa’s Ambassador to the group, Anil Sooklal, said that 13 nations have formally applied to join the bloc of leading developing economies while another six have informally inquired about membership.
BRICS is likely to accept five new members at its summit, India’s Business Standard daily revealed at the end of June, the Russian Tass news agency reminded in a report. Quoting a senior government official who chose to remain anonymous, the newspaper wrote that the group that may be inducted consists of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Egypt, and Argentina.
Cyril Ramaphosa will host and chair the BRICS summit, which will be held on Aug. 22 – 24 in Johannesburg, his nation’s most populous city. President of Russia Vladimir Putin’s attendance remains uncertain in the face of an indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the war in Ukraine and fallout from the Wagner mutiny, the Moscow Times wrote last week.
According to the publication, Russia has turned down a South African request to send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, instead of Putin, to the summit. “We understand we are bound by the Rome Statute but we can’t invite someone and then you arrest them. You can understand our dilemma,” Ramaphosa’s deputy, Paul Mashatile, told local media. However, Ramaphosa has already invited the leaders of the four other member states and vowed to hold an in-person meeting despite the ICC warrant.
Do you think BRICS nations will agree to invite new members at their August summit? Share your expectations in the comments section below.