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BRICS role on multilateralism hailed

By ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-06-21 09:30
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Before summit, Russia envoy highlights grouping's contributions in troubled world

In an increasingly tense world, the five nations in the BRICS grouping of emerging economies are "the custodians of genuine multilateralism", Russia's Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov said.

The Russian envoy made the remarks in a recent exclusive interview with China Daily ahead of this week's 14th BRICS Summit, the annual gathering of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"The collaboration of this grouping is based on equality, dialogue with mutual respect, an approach to collectively tackle impending issues for the world," Denisov said.

The BRICS nations have maintained close contacts at international platforms such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in order to coordinate positions on critical international issues, he said.

The summit that gets underway this week is a key event for China, as the rotating chairman of BRICS this year, and the meeting will review the work done and outline directions for the five nations' cooperation within the framework of the grouping, Denisov said.

The summit's theme this year is "Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development".

"I want to emphasize that the agenda of the leaders' talk is based on the current international situation," the ambassador said.

He said the five nations "have consistently developed cooperation in pragmatic areas against the backdrop of the turbulent international situation".

He also highlighted the expansion of the BRICS' New Development Bank, with Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Egypt joining the institution.

The ambassador said the bank is "becoming an increasingly influential financial institution".

The bank's leadership has approved 85 investment projects totaling more than $31 billion.

"That's why I say our interactions are not subject to the global political situation, are not targeting anyone and enjoy a proactive, pragmatic agenda," he said.

"We believe that strengthening the strategic partnership of the BRICS nations not only serves their interests, but also lives up to the need of the world's overall development."

Denisov voiced his hope that the summit will inject new impetus into three main areas for the five nations to boost cooperation: Politics and security; economy, trade and finance; and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Serious attitude

On China's rotating chairmanship of the BRICS this year, the ambassador said "we have taken notice of China's serious attitude "toward its duties in the role.

He noted that this year, more than 180 events are scheduled. Already held are meetings that have brought together the five nations' foreign ministers, economic and foreign trade ministers, financial ministers as well as central bank chiefs.

At such events, all the parties discussed further measures to bolster the nations' cooperation in the areas involved, he said.

Denisov said that among the outcomes that have been achieved since the start of this year are the initiation of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center, the implementation of the Agreement on BRICS Cooperation on Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation and an agreement reached on the BRICS Integrated Early Warning System for preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The five nations have also made preparations for the signing of an agreement on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters and of a memorandum of understanding in the field of regulation of medical products.

"In addition, China, as the rotating chairman state, offers fresh impetus for the discussions among the BRICS nations about the expansion of the grouping's membership," he said.

"In general, we support the priorities set by China as the BRICS chairman state. We are ready to continue strengthening BRICS cooperation together with our Chinese friends."

Alongside this week's summit, a High-level Dialogue on Global Development will be held, and the leaders of some other developing countries are expected to join in with the leaders of the five nations.

The ambassador said the BRICS nations are interested in strengthening contacts with other developing countries and emerging markets.

"We believe that the need for dialogue is strong under the current situation, because with the dire macroeconomic situation, dialogue will help advance the common priorities of developing countries, including improving the global governance system," he said.

Wider circle of friends

All the BRICS nations are looking to maintain close contacts with a wider circle of friends in the form of a "BRICS Plus" model in order to achieve common development, he added.

This year's summit is taking place against the backdrop of a severe global economic downturn.

Asked about the common challenges and opportunities for the BRICS nations and other developing countries, Denisov said: "The global economy has witnessed recessions, and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic worsens the situation.

"Also, countries are faced with lingering security threats, including terrorist groups' activities, illegal drug production and crimes involving the abuse of information and telecommunications technologies. In this regard, the developing countries are suffering most from the negative impacts of various incidents in the world."

In this context, the ambassador called on countries to strengthen cooperation and take uniform positions on international issues.

He said countries could tap into opportunities such as jointly promoting the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which "surely aligns with the interests of developing countries".

Last year, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative, and, earlier this year, the Global Security Initiative.

In response, the Russian ambassador said: "The consolidating agenda set by China is more significant than ever, and Russia supports the initiatives proposed in areas of global development and security."

He added: "We believe that translating into reality this agenda will be helpful to advancing the concept of a community of indivisible security, and will also be helpful for satisfying the need to jointly develop economies."

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