Brics members reject harsh economic measures and sanctions
BRICS members rejected austerity and sanctions-led diplomacy at the close of their summit in Russia yesterday.
The meeting of the bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa wrapped up in Ufa, the capital of the republic of Bashkortostan.
South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies welcomed the founding of the New Development Bank by Brics, saying that the world needed more such institutions to invest in infrastructure and development.
“I believe we will not be guided by mindless austerity, which is causing enormous difficulties in some parts of the developed world,” he said.
Mr Davies said his government opposed sanctions against Russia, saying they had a “negative impact both on Russia and the imposers of those sanctions.
“During the World Economic Forum in Davos I heard a number of prominent European citizens also decrying the negative impact of the sanctions and the lack of justification for them,” he said.
He added that South African fruit growers were ready to “step up to the plate” and meet Russian demand for produce.
In an interview with Russia Today, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said her government also rejected sanctions as a means of resolving international disputes.
“In Latin America we have a sad experience of sanctions imposed against Cuba, which are being lifted now as Cuba is normalising its relations with the US,” she said.
“We don’t think sanctions solve any problems. Instead, they turn into a punishment of the people, not the government.”
The parallel Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) summit in Ufa ended yesterday with signing of agreements on expanding the six-country Eurasian security bloc.
Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan agreed to start the process of India and Pakistan becoming full members, Belarus was granted observer status alongside Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia, while Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal became dialogue partners.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rare meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif yesterday to discuss a range of issues.
On Thursday Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hopes that the SCO would help India and Pakistan resolve their differences as border clashes between the two countries left two soldiers dead.