Russia Assumes BRICS Presidency in 2020

As stipulated by the guidelines, Russia will assume the rotating presidency of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) regional association on January 1, 2020. It will take over from Brazil. The Brazilian BRICS Chairmanship managed to achieve serious progress in all the main pillars of cooperation – political, economic and humanitarian.

The group noted that much progress has been achieved in streamlining the full-scale operational activity of the New Development Bank (NDB). For example, it has already approved 35 investment projects worth a total of over US$9.2 billion. An important aspect is going forward still with plans to transit to project funding in BRICS national currencies.

Continuous appreciable efforts, made previously, towards two Russian initiatives: to establish an Energy Research Platform and the BRICS Women Business Alliance.

The BRICS countries are firmly committed to democratization of international life and its development under the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and principles of respect for cultural and civilizational diversity of the world and the right of peoples to forge their destiny themselves.

Russia with the four members are very proactive, most decisions taken on significant international issues are balanced, often taken by consensus rather than imposed. BRICS has established as a multilateral structure, and as reliable association pushing for fair, democratic and multipolar world order.

President Vladimir Putin set out presidency priorities at the 11th BRICS summit held in Brasilia on November 14, 2019. The main priority of presidency, just as of the multifaceted cooperation within BRICS, is to enhance the quality of life in the group’s countries.

“We will continue to promote the main three spheres of the group countries’ cooperation, that is, political, economic and humanitarian cooperation. We will need to give more effort to enhancing our coordination at the basic international platforms. We are set to deepen our dialogue on counterterrorism. We will encourage our partners to continue to promote out parliamentary, sport and educational contacts as well as youth exchanges,” according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova.

Notably, Russia plans to update the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership in order to build mutual trade and investments. Russia will also be working to reinforce the potential of the BRICS New Development Bank. Russia’s theme for its BRICS presidency is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth” – the chosen theme fully conforms to the group’s goals.

As Russia takes the helm of BRICS, the group will be keenly interested in increasing financial and economic cooperation among the member countries, effective industrial interaction and practical cooperation in developing and implementing new joint energy, telecommunications and high-tech projects among others.

According to the official information made available, Russia plans to hold around 150 events at different levels, including two summit meetings (the official summit will be held in St Petersburg in July, 2020. An informal summit will take place on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia), as well as over 20 ministerial meetings are planned in more than 10 Russian cities.

The BRICS member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) collectively represent about 26% of the world’s geographic area and are home to 3.6 billion people, about 42% of the world’s population and a combined nominal GDP of US$16.6 trillion.

Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kester Kenn Klomegah
MD Africa Editor Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and writer on African affairs in the EurAsian region and former Soviet republics. He wrote previously for African Press Agency, African Executive and Inter Press Service. Earlier, he had worked for The Moscow Times, a reputable English newspaper. Klomegah taught part-time at the Moscow Institute of Modern Journalism. He studied international journalism and mass communication, and later spent a year at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He co-authored a book “AIDS/HIV and Men: Taking Risk or Taking Responsibility” published by the London-based Panos Institute. In 2004 and again in 2009, he won the Golden Word Prize for a series of analytical articles on Russia's economic cooperation with African countries.