About 20 new countries offer to join BRICS: Russia

About 20 countries are seeking BRICS membership, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Speaking to the Russian news agency TASS on Thursday, the high diplomat said, “The list of candidates to join the association is constantly growing. The number of states seeking to join this association is close to twenty.

„This represents the emergence of BRICS and an alliance of countries with similar positions that already play a significant role in the international arena. I want to emphasize that,” Mr Ryabkov said.

The Russian ambassador explained that BRICS is a group of countries that does not follow the leader-follower principle, but rather partners set a constructive agenda based on consensus.

He said there were increasing discussions on the criteria for joining the BRICS organization and South Africa had intensified these discussions.

He also pointed out that Arab countries and the Asia-Pacific region are increasingly interested in joining BRICS.

“I can say that from our point of view, the Arab world and the Asia-Pacific region are clearly 'begging’ to join the BRICS, as they are not represented there today. But we will see exactly what we can offer the leaders in this regard and leave it to the leaders to decide at the summit in Johannesburg,” he said.

BRICS is an acronym that stands for the five regional economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The alliance is an alternative to the US-led Western superpower alliance.

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