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Ufa summit shows Russia is not isolated and BRICS seeks independence from West — media

July 09, 2015, 8:15 UTC+3 NEW YORK
"This summit marks the transformation of the BRICS club into a nascent non-Western concert of major powers that focuses on their priorities, not those of Washington or Brussels," an expert says
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© Summit's photo-host agency

NEW YORK, July 9. /TASS/. The current summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders in Russia’s Ufa clearly demonstrates that this association is determined to create its own economic structures independent from the West. Moreover, it proves that Russia is not isolated, political observer Cynthia Roberts, Associate Professor at Hunter College, CUNY, said in her article in The Nation Interest online journal on Thursday.

Skepticism about the BRICS has proved to be wrong, she said, since "these BRICS are not made with straw and have not fractured from their considerable diversity or economic ups and downs."

"This week’s gathering of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa for their 7th BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia shows more than the fact that Russia is not isolated by Western sanctions," she wrote. "This summit marks the transformation of the BRICS club into a nascent non-Western concert of major powers that focuses on their priorities, not those of Washington or Brussels."

Roberts described this association as a "concert" obviously referring to the Concert of Europe, a system of international relations that represented the balance of powers that formed in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. "Concerts are known to involve deep international cooperation among major powers, but they are distinct from alliances and don’t eliminate competitive power politics," she wrote. "The BRICS will now be bolstered by their own institutions that are intended to operate parallel to the US led order created at Bretton Woods in 1944."

Commenting on the establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the expert noted, "Though the BRICS countries avoid frontally attacking American hegemony, they contest the West’s pretensions to permanent stewardship of the existing system, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, scandals like the manipulation of Libor (the benchmark to set payments on global financial instruments from mortgages to derivatives), and the persistent threat of Western economic sanctions. The BRICS intend to be the governors of their new institutions, both as formal ruler makers, and also informally in the jockeying behind closed doors for comparative advantage that pervades all cooperative endeavors."

According to Roberts, "experts agree that the United States and European Union are partly to blame for the emergence of a parallel non-Western economic architecture. A principal shared BRICS grievance featured in all communiques is that the United States and Europe have denied them governance roles commensurate with their larger global economic weight."

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