BRICS invites six new members to join, covering more than 1/3 of the world’s population: NPR

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The BRICS group of emerging economies has invited six new members to join – expanding its reach to cover more than a third of the world’s population in a bid for global order reshaping the world.


Six new countries are joining the group of emerging economies known as BRICS, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The news came on the last day of the summit in South Africa. The group has positioned itself as a counterweight to what it sees as US leadership. Kate Bartlett reports from Johannesburg.

KATE BARTLETT, BYLINE: BRICS was already a politically and economically diverse group before enlargement was announced and it’s remarkable because it makes up 40% of the world’s population and about 25% of world GDP. The group has now added Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. This was the opinion of the political analyst Steven Gruzd on the news that they will be together in January 2024.

STEVEN GRUZD: I think they are trying to build on the momentum created by new countries that want to join the BRICS system. Another question is what to do with the acronym.

BARTLETT: Relationships between current members weren’t always easy. China and India have a dispute over part of their border, and the addition of new members has also raised eyebrows. Iran and Saudi Arabia are old political enemies, and there have also been tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia over a hydroelectric dam on the Nile. Many developing countries have long resisted what they see as US imperialism and an unequal international system and like the idea of ​​an organization challenging the status quo. No one is happier about that than China and Russia, which have been hit hard by sanctions over the Ukraine war. Here is President Vladimir Putin at the summit joining by video link as an international criminal court warrant for his arrest made it impossible for him to travel to South Africa.

(Audio from archive recording)

TODAY VLADIMIR PUTIN: (Through translator) Some countries promote their hegemony, their specialism and their policy of continued colonialism and neocolonialism.

BARTLETT: This week, while other members of the bloc expressed wishes for world peace, they did not criticize Russia and its attack on Ukraine. For NPR News, I’m Kate Bartlett in Johannesburg.

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