Nigeria reportedly part of three dozen countries clamoring to join BRICS group – South Africa says as Putin’s Russia takes up leadership

February 1st, 2024

Nearly three dozen countries, including Nigeria, want to join the China- and Russia-backed BRICS economic group, member country South Africa said on Wednesday, January 31, weeks after the group expanded its membership for the first time in more than a decade .

“Thirty-four countries have expressed interest in joining the bloc of major emerging economies,” South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told reporters.

Russia accepted the offers after taking over the group’s rotating chairmanship this year and will be the first member to join the body since the official entry of Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Ethiopia, Iran and Egypt. .

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The growing membership is widely seen as a victory for China and Russia, which have sought to change an international system they say is unfairly dominated by the United States amid growing tensions with the West.

The BRICS countries, which since 2011 include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are positioning themselves roughly as the global South’s answer to the large developed economies of the Group of Seven (G7).

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The expansion and continued interest of dozens of other countries is also a boon for Russia, which was economically and diplomatically ostracized by the West after its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s position as chairman would be an important opportunity for Putin to push back against this isolation and position himself as a key player on the broader diplomatic stage, as world leaders typically arrive in the host country for the annual summit.

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Last year, all heads of state and government of the EU member states except Putin met in person in Johannesburg. The Russian president, who has an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, took part virtually.

This year’s event is expected to take place in October in the city of Kazan in southwest Russia.


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