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BRICS clout drawing membership bids: Putin
July 11, 2014, 6:01 am

File photo of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, welcoming his Brazil's counterpart Dilma Rousseff, during a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow [AP]

File photo of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, left, welcoming his Brazil’s counterpart Dilma Rousseff, during a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow [AP]

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the expansion of BRICS to include newer members is an issue likely to be raised in the future as more and more countries queue up for membership in the powerful bloc of emerging economies.

“On the whole, today, more and more countries see the potential of this association. That is why, in the future, the issue of gradually expanding BRICS is likely to be raised,” Putin said in a joint interview to Itar-Tass and Prensa Latina on the eve of his trip to Latin America.

He, however, ruled out any immediate expansion of the group. Argentina had earlier bid to join the club.

“It is quite possible for BRICS to enter into strategic partnership with Argentina, as with other big developing countries, in both politics and the economy,” said Putin on Thursday.

Ahead of the 6th BRICS Summit, Putin lauded the growing “political influence” of Brazil in the international community.

Moscow, Putin said, supports Brazil “as a deserving and strong candidate for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council”.

“I am sure that this powerful and fast-developing country is destined to play an important role in the emerging polycentric world order,” he added.

Latin American nations, including Brazil, were angered by revelations in Brazil’s O Globo newspaper earlier that the US National Security Agency snooped on oil and energy firms in Brazil and intercepted calls and emails of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff had subsequently canceled a state visit to the US. Brazil then co-drafted the “right to privacy” resolution with Germany, which has been passed by the UN rights committee.

Putin on Thursday said the current cyber-espionage narrative “not only amounts to overt hypocrisy in relationships between allies and partners, but also a direct violation of the state’s sovereignty, an infringement on human rights and an invasion of privacy”.

After state visits to Cuba and Argentina, Putin heads to Rio de Janeiro on July 13 to watch the World Cup final.

The Russian President will hold talks with his BRICS counterparts in Fortaleza on July 15 and in Brasilia on July 16.

The BRICS development bank will be announced at the Summit in Brazil as an alternative to the Western-dominated World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The idea was proposed by India at a 2012 meeting of the organization’s finance ministers in Mexico.



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