MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. The Central African Republic (CAR) has not yet submitted an official application to join the BRICS economic group (currently Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, to be joined by six new members in 2024), Russian Ambassador to the CAR Alexander Bikantov told TASS on Friday.
"As far as we know, there has been no official bid from [CAR capital] Bangui requesting membership in BRICS," the Russian ambassador said in an interview with TASS.
Bikantov went on to say that the CAR is continuing to develop its relations with the BRICS member states, both at the bilateral level and on various international platforms.
"In August 2023, CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera participated in the [15th] BRICS Summit in Johannesburg," the diplomat noted. "Contacts were established with the International Alliance of BRICS Strategic Projects. As well, the joint intention for opening representative offices in Moscow and Bangui was declared."
"The Central African Republic is currently pursuing a policy of diversifying its foreign relations," the Russian diplomat added.
The 15th BRICS Summit was held on August 22-24 in Johannesburg under the chairmanship of South Africa.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at a post-summit news conference that Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would join BRICS on January 1, 2024.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted at the summit that "the weight, prestige and role of an individual candidate country and, of course, its position in the international arena" were taken into account in decision-making on accepting new members to expand BRICS.
An updated list of candidate countries for BRICS membership will be prepared for consideration at the group’s next annual summit, which will take place next year in Kazan under Russia’s one-year chairmanship.