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Top Indian diplomat slams as 'baseless' allegations that New Delhi opposes BRICS expansion

According to Shri Arindam Bagchi, India is approaching the issue "with an open mind and a positive outlook"

NEW DELHI, August 3. /TASS/. India's Foreign Ministry spokesman Shri Arindam Bagchi has called ‘baseless’ speculations and untrue reports in some media that the country is against BRICS expansion.

"We have seen some baseless speculations <…> that India has reservations against [BRICS] expansion. This is simply not true," he said at a briefing on Thursday, responding to a TASS request to comment on the issue of the association's expansion.

Bagchi recalled that the BRICS member states are currently discussing the standards, criteria and procedures of the expansion process. According to him, India is approaching the issue "with an open mind and a positive outlook."

In recent days, Bloomberg has reported on India's alleged opposition to BRICS expansion. On Thursday, its columnist Mihir Sharma wrote that India will oppose the accession of new countries to BRICS for as long as possible, fearing that China will use the group's expansion for its own purposes.

According to the news agency, Brazil is also against the expansion. At the same time, the country's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva admitted to foreign media on Wednesday that the association could become larger after the next summit, which will be held in Johannesburg at the end of August.