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MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. The experience of Russia’s chairmanship of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) against the backdrop of serious deterioration in relations with the West has shown these countries’ interest in consolidation, Executive Director of the National Committee on BRICS Studies Georgy Toloraya told TASS summing up the results of Russia’s chairmanship in this association coming to an end on February 15. India will take over BRICS chairmanship from Russia.
According to the expert, such consolidation "became possible in spite of the fact that, taking into account the Russian factor, it was more difficult to do than ever." "Many BRICS member-countries had some doubts and fears that supporting Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and other issues could trigger dissatisfaction of the West and would be disadvantageous to these countries," Toloraya said. "Nevertheless, they found the courage and integrity to act jointly, to emphasize the common things that unite them and emphasize that they are interested in developing cooperation in the future."
Toloraya also noted that cooperation between the association’s member-countries in some areas, such as the energy sector, science and technology, had gained momentum in 2015 and 2016. "Relevant documents and roadmaps have been prepared, the economic strategy of cooperation between the BRICS member-countries has been passed, which is a good basis for the future," he said. "So, Russia was able to use its chairmanship to the full for the further development of BRICS."
He recalled that during Russia’s BRICS chairmanship more than 100 events had been held within the association under the official presidential program alone. "The Indians complainted that Russia had done so much that it would be difficult for them to compete with the implementation of this vast chairmanship program next year," Toloraya said.