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BRICS countries understand importance of creating energy union — Russian diplomat

February 15, 2016, 13:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

BRICS countries are developing a number of new economic partnership projects

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. BRICS countries start to understand that they cannot allow monopoly of Western structures in the sphere of energy, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Rossiya 24 TV channel on Friday.

Answering a question on whether it is possible to create an energy union in the framework of BRICS, Ryabkov noted that "understanding that this is necessary gradually sets in," but time is required to implement this.

"Talking about BRICS energy association, the reference to the situation with payments in national currencies is probably relevant - all of this should grow ripe. We will not be able to artificially speed up some kind of process, but understanding is gradually setting in among BRICS countries that we should not allow monopoly of the West and structures servicing West’s interests in this sphere," the diplomat added.

BRICS countries developing new economic projects

According to the diplomat, BRICS countries are developing a number of new economic partnership projects.

"There are two well-known examples (of cooperation within BRICS - TASS), meaning formation of the BRICS infrastructure bank to upgrade all our countries’ infrastructure in various sectors and a currency reserve pool, which enables to borrow funds from partners within BRICS for macroeconomic benefits," he said.

"Besides, we have a number of BRICS joint projects coming soon, which are being developed in accordance with the economic partnership strategy approved in Ufa. We have a huge number of frameworks for talks in security sector, meaning space, counterterrorism efforts, transport safety, protection of our transport companies from piracy and others," Ryabkov said.

On Monday, India is taking over BRICS presidency from Russia.

Payments in national currencies to secure BRICS economies from US, EU voluntarism

Ryabkov also stressed that payments in national currencies will secure the economies of BRICS states from voluntary approaches of the United States and the European Union.

"Obviously [payments in national currencies will increase - TASS]. We witness great virtues in those payment schemes so that the BRICS states could secure their economies, economic operators from voluntary approaches of the US, the EU and others," he said.

"However BRICS is not a military barrack, not a framework forcing anyone to join those projects under compulsion," deputy minister said. "The development logics will point other participants toward the need to diversify forms of settlement. All BRICS members admit its necessity and reasonability," he added.

The official pointed out that Russia’s presidency in the BRICS group this year has shown that Russia "has raised the stakes" in international affairs.

"Russia, of course, has raised the stakes in international affairs," the diplomat said. "It is even more evident that all that nonsense suggesting that Russia is in some sort of isolation has been destroyed."

"I think this is a good result of the [BRICS] summit in Ufa," he said.

BRICS, an informal association of five fast-developing countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - was founded in June 2006. Its first official summit was held in June 2009 in Yekaterinburg. Since then BRICS summits are held every year in the participating countries alternately. The latest summit was held on July 8-9 last year in Ufa.


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