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MOSCOW, September 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn magazine on Thursday that the BRICS group of countries couldn’t be called a full-fledged international organization so far.
“This association is not, at least for the time being, an international organization in the full sense of this word,” the Russian foreign minister said. “At the same time, we welcome the process of further institutionalization of BRICS in a perspective, though we believe that this process shouldn’t be speeded up. Russia alongside with its BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) partners attaches great importance to this format and considers cooperation within its framework to be one of the guidelines of Russian foreign policy,” Lavrov went on to say.
The Russian foreign minister said that Russia wanted this cooperation to gradually evolve into multilateral strategic partnership on a wide range of issues related to world economy and politics. “We seek to position BRICS as a new model of global relations which outgrows one-dimensional schemes like “North-South” or “East-West”.
The BRICS countries passed the final declaration at the summit in New Delhi on March 29. It contains 50 clauses and a concrete action plan which proves that the BRICS “quintet” intends to continue acting together, Lavrov said.
“As for our partners’ desire to preserve the initially set informal format of communication within BRICS, we find their arguments to be quite fair. The process of institutionalization should progress only if natural conditions for it are ripe and match the degree of readiness of the participants in this process,” Lavrov explained.
“We have achieved a lot in this field. The practice of holding annual summits has firmly established itself. The next summit is scheduled to take place in South Africa in March next year,” Lavrov said. He added that the BRICS countries had followed the example of the G-8 and G-20 and created the institutions of ‘Sherpas’ and their deputies called ‘Su-Sherpas’.
“A mechanism of regular meetings of foreign ministers as well as the heads and responsible representatives of other organizations is in operation. Joint scientific cooperation has been launched and projects in the media, political sciences, as well as other spheres like banking and finances, for example, are being implemented. A meaningful discussion of ways and priorities of future cooperation is under way,” Lavrov said.
In his view, long-term common interests contribute to objective rapprochement of the BRICS member countries.
“This is a desire to reform the outdated financial and economic global architecture, commitment to the principles and norms of international law and rejection of any kind of policy based on dictate and the use of force,” Lavrov said.
“Besides, it’s clear that our countries face common economic and social problems and, to some extent, complement the national economies of each other. The BRICS partners have accumulated valuable experience in coordinating their actions at international organizations, including the United Nations, on a number of major international and political problems. We believe that it’s necessary to continue developing this practice,” the Russian foreign minister stressed.
According to Lavrov, BRICS that has united 30% of terrestrial parts of the world, 45% of global population and 45% of global GDP, has a big future.