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BRICS supports Russia-Ukraine talks at 14th Summit, Putin says ‘joint efforts’ answer to conflict

The 14th BRICS Summit was held virtually Thursday. This was Putin's first forum with the heads of major economies since launching the Ukraine invasion.

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New Delhi: BRICS members — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — Thursday endorsed talks between Moscow and Kyiv amid the ongoing war, while voicing concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

The statement was part of the formal declaration — ‘Beijing Declaration‘ — released after the 14th BRICS Summit, held virtually.

“We have discussed the situation in Ukraine and recall our national positions as expressed at the appropriate fora, namely the UNSC (UN Security Council) and UNGA (UN General Assembly),” the five BRICS member states said. 

“We support talks between Russia and Ukraine. We have also discussed our concerns over the humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine…,” the statement said, adding that the grouping is willing to support the United Nations’ efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin — attending his first forum with the heads of major economies since launching the Ukraine invasion — said settling conflicts, among other issues, can only be done through joint efforts.

“We have repeatedly said that challenges like conflict settlement, the fight against terrorism and organised crime, including the criminal use of new technologies, climate change, and the spread of dangerous infections, can only be addressed through joint efforts,” Putin said.

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Xi pushes for security alliance within BRICS

Noting that today’s world is marked by the “dark clouds of Cold War mentality”, Chinese President Xi Jinping said some countries have tried to expand military alliances and create blocs in certain regions by forcing other countries into “picking sides”.

“It is important that BRICS countries support each other on issues concerning core interests, practise true multilateralism, safeguard justice, fairness and solidarity and reject hegemony, bullying and division,” Xi said in his opening remarks.

The Chinese president also called for a larger security alliance within BRICS, underlining that Beijing would like to work with the grouping to operationalise the Global Security Initiative (GSI).

Proposed by China in May this year, the GSI aims to be an Asian security framework that replaces “confrontation, alliance and a zero-sum approach with dialogue, partnership and win-win results”.

Modi says BRICS ‘not just limited to dialogue’

In his comments at the summit, PM Narendra Modi remarked that mutual cooperation between BRICS countries can help boost the world’s post-Covid recovery.

“We, the BRICS member countries, have had a very similar view of the governance of the global economy. And so our mutual cooperation can make a useful contribution to post-Covid global recovery,” he said.

The Prime Minister added that certain aspects of this cooperation — such as the establishment of vaccine R&D centres, coordination among custom departments, establishment of shared satellite constellations, and mutual recognition of pharma products — show that the grouping is not limited to dialogue.

“Such practical steps make BRICS a unique international organisation whose focus is not just limited to dialogue,” PM Modi added.

In the ‘Beijing Declaration’, the BRICS countries also expressed concerns about the situation in Taliban-held Afghanistan and cautioned against the possibility of Afghan soil being used to “threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan to finance terrorist acts”

While emphasising the need for “all sides to encourage the Afghanistan authorities to achieve national reconciliation through dialogue and negotiation”, BRICS member nations called on authorities in Afghanistan to combat drug-related crime.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

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