BRICS is becoming the beacon of the multipolar world
by Alexandr Svaranc on 09 Jul 2024 0 Comment

The international organisation of BRICS, which currently encompasses 9 states, operates on the principles of equality, non-interference and mutual benefit. Considering the unconstructive and aggressive politics of the Collective West, led by the United States, BRICS is attracting an increasing number of countries opposed to monopoly and the dictate of the unipolar world structure, and is slowly forming a multipolar world. However, a candidate’s understandable interest does not automatically guarantee membership in BRICS.


Attractiveness of BRICS


The multipolar world is objectively presented as an alternative to the unipolar world order, as it creates a more just and dynamic system of international relations. Perhaps the prospect of a new world order is not as stable as the bipolar world of the second half of the 20th century, where two macropolitical, ideological, economic and military systems formed strict rules of competition and provided guarantees of strategic security and peace to exclude a nuclear catastrophe.


However, in the conditions of turbulent modern processes, where the West – at the helm of which stand the United States – creates cyclical crises and sows chaos, does not take into account modern economic transformations and interconnections, ignores the interests of major powers and peoples, the request for global integration of the proponents of an alternative structure of international relations is real and understandable.


In this regard, the BRICS organisation, which unites the largest (in terms of number, area, raw materials, development rates, economic and military potential) states of the world, can become a political and economic reflection of the new multipolar world.




Brazil, Russia, India and China founded this organisation at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2006. Since the accession of South Africa in November 2010, it has been known as BRICS and from 2024 onwards, it has become BRICS after the accession of five more important states (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia).


By the autumn of 2024, at the organisation’s 15th summit in Kazan (Russia), the number of member states may again expand by accepting new candidates (including Saudi Arabia, etc.). Thus, as shown by the interim summit in Nizhny Novgorod on 11 June this year, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Belarus, Venezuela, Azerbaijan and others are among the potential candidates for BRICS membership.


Despite the fact that the membership of the association has expanded and continues to grow, the BRICS association, named after the first letters of its founding countries, will retain its name. This position was explained by Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia and Russia’s BRICS Sherpa, in an interview with the first issue of the TASS project “BRICS Bulletin”: “It is necessary to make it clear. The leaders in Johannesburg came to a common understanding that despite the enlargement, which took place on 1 January, the association in the new enlarged composition will retain the name BRICS. Full stop. Not ‘BRICS-plus’, but BRICS. That’s the brand”.


The senior diplomat pointed out in this regard that the phrase “BRICS-plus” is ‘used to refer to the formats in which non-member countries participate”.


The list of BRICS members indicates that these are large and rapidly developing countries with considerable significance to the global economy in terms of GDP (ranking 2nd, 5th, 9th, 11th etc.), representing almost all continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America). Without taking into account their interests, it is impossible to plan out the stable dynamics of the global economy and security policy.


The strategy of mutually beneficial economic cooperation of the BRICS members does not exclude the formation of an international currency alternative to the US dollar and the euro; this would bring fundamental changes to the global economic and financial system and reduce (if not devalue) the exclusivity of the dollar and the euro.


BRICS also includes new multimodal international transit communications, stimulating an active flow of goods and passengers, high economic competition, intercultural exchange and the strengthening of peace and security. The realisation of such a possibility requires a careful selection of candidates for BRICS, taking into account their transparent choice between the established political and economic alternatives to a unipolar and multipolar world.


Will Turkey become a member of BRICS?


According to official Turkish statements and Turkish diplomacy, Ankara is interested in cooperation with BRICS and possible membership as an alternative to the EU, where Turkey continues not to be accepted. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan was invited to and participated in the Nizhny Novgorod BRICS summit.


Naturally, Turkey’s political and economic status, combined with its diverse geography, increasingly important role in international relations, aims for an independent policy, as well as high ambitions in becoming the leader of the Turkic world, make this country an important candidate in international organisations and BRICS in particular. Moreover, with Recep Erdogan coming to power, Ankara has been demonstrating an independent foreign policy over the past two decades and strengthening beneficial strategic partnerships with major BRICS+ countries (including China, Russia and India).


However, the desire for constructive cooperation with BRICS alone is not enough for a candidate’s application. It is important to confirm this interest with real, practical steps of respect for the principles of BRICS. A transparent choice in favour of or against a multipolar world must be made.


This is why Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov steered the focus of direct and potential BRICS candidates to compliance with the mandatory conditions of partnership (membership) with the organisation. The Russian diplomat stated: “One of the mandatory conditions or, to put it more diplomatically, one of the criteria for partnership with BRICS should be absolute and unconditional non-participation in any unilateral sanctions regimes directed against any of the current BRICS participants”.


In other words, Moscow is signalling to Ankara that it must make a final choice between the United States and Russia by ceasing blocking bank payments and transactions of Russian companies, restoring full-fledged and mutually beneficial trade and economic relations between our countries without delay and without hiding behind “unprecedented pressure from the United States and its financial institutions” for violating the anti-Russian sanctions due to the Ukrainian crisis.


Therefore, Russia currently supports Turkey’s partnership with BRICS, but not its membership in the international organisation. Turkey is trying to find alternative solutions to financial and banking problems with payments and transfers.


For example, Turkish expert Taylan Boyukshakhin believes that Turkey and Russia can effectively use gold reserves in bilateral trade as an alternative to the US dollar in the conditions of Western sanctions. To do this, he suggests that the central banks of the two countries fix the value of the ruble and the Turkish lira and use gold in mutual transactions.


But to which currency does Turkey propose to fix the value of the ruble and lira? If it is linked to the US dollar or the euro, then what is the meaning of these efforts? Turkey and Russia are not using national currencies (lira and ruble) in trade with each other actively enough. That is why the state bank (Ziraatbank) cannot provide its clients entering the Russian market with a sufficient amount of Russian rubles and vice versa from Russian banks in terms of Turkish lira.


All of these financial proposals often remain at the level of initiatives and lose their practical implementation due to the ongoing Turkish diplomacy of manoeuvring between different centres of power. The policy of ‘sitting on two or more chairs’ may be effective in peaceful periods of international relations, but not in the conditions of stark modern contradictions.


Turkey hopes to expand its transit capabilities and supports multimodal transport projects (including the Chinese One Belt, One Road route, the Middle Corridor in Transcaucasia, Russian North-South, Indian transit). In other words, Ankara is aiming for active and mutually beneficial trade and economic partnership with key BRICS+ countries (China, Russia, India).


The latter demands respect of the founding principles of the organisation itself. Therefore, the nature of Turkish relations with BRICS will depend on how Ankara defines its position and choice.


Alexander SVARANTS – Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.” Courtesy

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