BRICS Expansion Boosts Global Influence: Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister

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Sergey Ryabkov, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister

The recent expansion of BRICS has transformed the association into a significant force on the global stage, asserts Sergey Ryabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Since the start of 2024, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia have joined the grouping, bolstering its influence in a multipolar world.

Ryabkov, a seasoned diplomat with extensive experience in international relations, plays a pivotal role in shaping Russia’s bilateral ties with the Americas and within BRICS. In an exclusive interview with TV BRICS, he elaborated on the opportunities and challenges arising from Russia’s chairmanship of the group.

Smooth Integration and Shared Vision

Ryabkov emphasized the seamless integration of new members into the grouping. He noted that the association’s tradition of consensus-based decision-making fostered inclusivity, ensuring all nations have an equal voice. This collaborative approach, he believes, will undoubtedly lead to success at the upcoming summit in Kazan this October.

The newcomers, with their diverse histories and cultural legacies, bring valuable perspectives to the table. Ryabkov stressed that Russia’s chairmanship is actively supporting them in adapting to the multifaceted BRICS cooperation structure, ensuring a smooth transition.

“Unification is moving forward. The Ten are beginning to demonstrate cohesion on international platforms. A joint statement of the BRICS countries was recently adopted at the UN Environment Assembly held in Nairobi. The members of the association make themselves known in a constructive manner on as wide an agenda as possible.”

Financial Collaboration, Technological Progress, and Healthcare

A key priority for Russia’s chairmanship is strengthening the role of bloc’s members within the global financial system. This includes developing robust interbank cooperation and mechanisms for settlements in national currencies. Financial experts are exploring innovative options like stablecoin settlements and a potential “BRICS Bridge” platform to seamlessly connect the financial networks of member nations.

Beyond finance, Ryabkov highlighted the importance of collaboration in science, innovation, and healthcare. Plans are underway to promote direct links between research institutions, foster digital education initiatives, and expand the reach of the BRICS Network University. In the realm of healthcare, Russia, a recognized leader in nuclear medicine, is committed to sharing its expertise and technologies with partners.
“We are open to co-operation. A number of expert meetings have taken place over the past months. A kick-off meeting of the Working Group on Nuclear Medicine was held in Moscow in February. It included leading representatives of major medical research centres, manufacturers of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals. Russia’s achievements in this area are undeniable. And Rosatom State Corporation is a world leader. We are ready to share our experience and our technologies with partners.”

Building Bridges Through Culture, Sports, and Youth

Cultural exchange lies at the heart of the bloc’s cooperation. Russia’s chairmanship underscores this through initiatives like the recent Spirit of Fire film festival in Khanty-Mansiysk, which showcased emerging filmmakers, and the BRICS Universe Project photography exhibition, a cross-national celebration of art and shared spaces. Additionally, events like the BRICS Marathon League, the BRICS Sports Games, and the BRICS Youth Council promote sportsmanship, cross-cultural understanding, and youth collaboration.

Kazan Summit: A Showcase for Russia and BRICS

Ryabkov expressed high expectations for the BRICS summit in Kazan, viewing it as a pivotal moment to amplify Russia’s leadership and solidify the group’s growing influence. He highlighted Kazan’s embodiment of interfaith harmony, innovative development, and rich traditions – all representing core aspects of contemporary Russia. The summit will provide a platform to celebrate the achievements of Russia’s chairmanship and chart the course for future in an evolving global landscape.

“This year we will try to make our colleagues and partners see life in modern Russia. And events are indeed held from Arkhangelsk to Sochi, from St Petersburg to cities in the Far East. There are certain logistical issues, but they are worth it.”

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