"In order to implement the decisions made at the [Johannesburg] summit, work is underway on the modality for a new category of partner countries, whose status is supposed to be similar to that of full-fledged members. The list of potential candidates is expected to be agreed on by the next BRICS summit in Kazan in October next year. We don’t rule out that the list will include, in particular, a number of Latin American countries," Ryabkov pointed out at the plenary session of the Sixth International Forum titled "Russia and Ibero-America in a Turbulent World: History and Perspectives," which is being hosted by St. Petersburg State University, writes the news agency.
The senior diplomat noted that Russia welcomed the decision to invite Argentina to join the BRICS and the desire of the countries of the region to join the group’s activities. "We hope that this step will serve to expand our ties with the region and strengthen the strategic partnership between our countries. A number of Latin American nations have shown an interest in building contacts with the BRICS," Ryabkov stressed.
According to the Russian deputy foreign minister, Moscow’s BRICS chairmanship in 2024 will pay special attention to expanding "the circle of BRICS friends," including in Latin America. "It is fully in line with the motto for Russia’s BRICS year, which reads as follows: ‘Strengthening Multilateralism for Justice in Global Development and Security,’" he added.
Speaking to journalists at the 20th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said
that nearly twenty countries have expressed interest in establishing partnership relations with BRICS.
At the same event, Vice President for Academic Affairs, research and strategy at the University of International Business and Economics in China John Gong told TASS
that Indonesia and Algeria are the frontrunners to join BRICS. The analyst said China favors the accession of friendly countries with strong economies. "China may also be interested in Latin American countries," he added.
Following the BRICS summit, which took place August 22-24 in Johannesburg, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the expansion of the association. Argentina, Egypt, Iran, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia will join BRICS on January 1, 2024, the news agency reminds.