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BRICS academic forum in Rio reveals better mutual understanding among experts

March 20, 2014, 13:09 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO
Leader of the Russian delegation Vyacheslav Nikonov says cyber-security was one of the most pressing issues for the BRICS countries
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Vyacheslav Nikonov

Vyacheslav Nikonov


RIO DE JANEIRO, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. A high level of mutual understanding among the experts of the five countries on key problems became the distinguishing feature of the 6th Academic Forum of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), which ended on Wednesday, Vyacheslav Nikonov, leader of the Russian delegation at the forum, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Education, and Chairman of the Board of the Russian National Commmittee for BRICS Studies, told Itar-Tass.

"There is an unspoken understanding, there is no need to reiterate the problems that gave rise to arguments at previous meetings when the elaboration of documents proceeded with difficulty," he pointed out.

Nikonov said, "Matters concerning economic security in a broad sense were of particular importance" to the Russian experts. "This refers to problems connected with a de-dollarization of the economies and mutual settlements, the task of an accelerated establishment of a BRICS Development Bank which could implement projects regardless of the attitude of the financial institutions of the West, the formation of a BRICS Stabilization Fund, the use of national currencies in mutual and multilateral settlements, and matters that have a bearing on the de-dollarization of gold-and-currency reserves," the Russian delegation leader explained.

Nikonov pointed out that those present at the forum "spoke very much of cyber security". "This is a sore subject in Brazil and not only there," Nikonov said. "The activities of the US National Security Agency give rise to many questions here. Representatives of all the five countries raised the problem in this or that way, and discussed earnestly enough the questions regarding the regulation of the world's information space, and the creation of some alternative information systems and the problems of cyber non-attack".

"Within the general context of security, delegates emphasized the need for closer contacts among defense ministries, security agencies, and counter-terrorism services," Nikonov said. He also pointed out "the importance of enhancing the parliamentary component in BRICS", where, as the Russian expert believes, "the time has come to establish a Parliamentary Assembly".

On the strength of the forum results, Nikonov drew a conclusion that "those delegates, who are well versed in global problems, are aware that the world undergoes changes, and that BRICS countries play an increasing role in it".

"At first, I jokingly suggested in the lobby next Academic Forum of BRICS, which is due to be held in Russia next year, be convened in Yalta. I must say that the suggestion was welcomed. Anyhow, people here took interest in the idea," Nikonov said. He explained that "this idea was not yet mooted in Moscow. It just occurred spontaneously, and already after the Treaty with the Republic of Crimea on its reunification with the Russian Federation had been signed".

On the strength of the results of the discussion of key themes relating to multilateral interaction, participants in the forum worked out recommendations which will be referred to the leaders of BRICS countries. The leaders will gather for a summit in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in July. During the summit, BRICS rotating presidency will devolve on Russia.

"It is difficult to overestimate the academic circles' participation in working out recommendations as to BRICS agenda, for scientists and experts constitute civil society," Jose Alfredo Grasa Lima, sherpa at the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, told Itar-Tass at the close of the Academic Forum. "Without scientists' opinion and their proposals taken into consideration, the recommendations made by the sherpas would lack legitimacy in a broad sense of the word," the Brazilian diplomat stressed.

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