PRETORIA, July 20. /TASS/. More than 40 countries expressed interest in joining BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) with 22 of them having already submitted official applications, Anil Sooklal, ambassador-at-large for Asia and BRICS at the South African Foreign Ministry and South Africa’s BRICS sherpa, said on Thursday.
According to Reuters, during a briefing in Johannesburg, he noted that in addition to 22 countries that had officially requested to join the organization, there was "an equal number of countries that have informally expressed interest in becoming BRICS members <...> [including] all the major Global South countries."
Earlier this month, India’s Business Standard newspaper, citing its sources, said that at the Johannesburg summit slated for August 22-24, five countries would be accepted into BRICS: Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
As Kremlin Aide Yury Ushakov noted, BRICS is literally flooded with requests from other countries wishing to cooperate but this issue requires serious work. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS that the number of countries wishing to join the organization continued to grow and had already reached almost two dozen.