The President of South Africa has confirmed that the leaders of the BRICS states will engage in talks about expanding the organization during their summit in August. Over a dozen countries are hopeful to be granted a pathway to membership.
According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, nearly 20 nations have expressed their aspirations to join BRICS and have requested admission into the BRICS family. He stated in an interview with SABC radio:
“At this summit, we will also address the possibility of BRICS extending beyond its current five-country composition.”
Recent media reports and official statements have revealed the interest of several countries in becoming BRICS members. In April, South Africa’s Ambassador to the group, Anil Sooklal, disclosed that 13 nations have formally applied for membership, while an additional six have informally inquired about joining the bloc of leading developing economies.
The Business Standard daily from India disclosed in late June that BRICS is likely to accept five new members during the upcoming summit. The Russian Tass news agency also highlighted this possibility, citing an unnamed senior government official. The potential inductees include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Egypt, and Argentina.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will host and preside over the BRICS summit, scheduled to take place from August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg, the most populous city in South Africa. The attendance of Russian President Vladimir Putin remains uncertain due to his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the Ukrainian conflict and the Wagner mutiny fallout, as reported by the Moscow Times.
According to the publication, South Africa requested the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as a substitute for President Putin at the summit. However, Russia declined the invitation, citing concerns over the ICC’s warrant. Ramaphosa’s deputy, Paul Mashatile, expressed the country’s predicament, stating, “We acknowledge our obligations under the Rome Statute, but it is difficult to invite someone and then have them arrested. You can understand our dilemma.” Despite the ICC warrant, President Ramaphosa intends to hold an in-person meeting and has already invited the leaders of the other four member states.
The question remains: Will the BRICS nations agree to extend invitations to new members during the August summit? Please share your expectations in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about BRICS expansion
Will new members be invited to join BRICS at the August summit?
The possibility of inviting new members to join BRICS will be discussed at the August summit. Nearly 20 countries have expressed their interest in membership, and there are indications that five new members may be accepted, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Egypt, and Argentina.
Who will be hosting and chairing the BRICS summit?
The BRICS summit will be hosted and chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa. The summit will take place in Johannesburg, the country’s most populous city.
Is there uncertainty regarding Vladimir Putin’s attendance at the summit?
Yes, there is uncertainty regarding Vladimir Putin’s attendance at the summit. He faces an indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) related to the war in Ukraine and the Wagner mutiny fallout. Russia declined a South African request to send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov instead of Putin. However, President Ramaphosa has invited the leaders of the other four member states and intends to hold an in-person meeting despite the ICC warrant.
How many countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS?
Nearly 20 countries have expressed their aspirations to join BRICS. Thirteen nations have formally applied for membership, while an additional six have informally inquired about joining the group.
When and where will the BRICS summit take place?
The BRICS summit is scheduled to take place from August 22 to 24. It will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa’s most populous city.
What is the composition of the BRICS group?
BRICS consists of five member states: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. These countries represent leading developing economies.
More about BRICS expansion
- BRICS Official Website
- BRICS Summit 2023 – South Africa
- Business Standard: BRICS likely to accept 5 new members
- Moscow Times: Uncertainty over Putin’s attendance at BRICS summit
- International Criminal Court (ICC)