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Brics: Russia and China make new attacks on the West – 06/23/2022

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With speeches lasting no more than five minutes, the virtual summit of BRICS leaders, this Thursday (23), was marked by new criticism from Russia and China of the West, complaints from South Africa about the lack of solidarity of the international community with Africa. and requests for reforms from multilateral bodies.

Vladimir Putin, who four months ago ordered the invasion of neighboring Ukraine, said the bloc countries had a key opportunity to strengthen ties to seek ways out of what he called “selfish and individual actions” by states – a reference to Western powers. that have applied sanctions against Moscow.

The speech was echoed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping. For him, it is up to the BRICS, among other tasks, to oppose unilateral sanctions and abuses. “Reject the small circles built around hegemonism and practice true multilateralism,” he said, according to a report by state news agency Xinhua.

The summit’s final declaration, published on the Kremlin’s website, says the bloc supports negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, now stalled, and pledges to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states – despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and occupied different portions, especially in the east.

Despite fighting a Cold War 2.0, that is, a political and economic conflict against the US, to which Moscow has also joined, Xi urged the BRICS allies to reject the “Cold War mentality” and the “block confrontation”. “The BRICS countries have embraced the spirit of win-win cooperation,” he said.

South African Cyril Ramaphosa, in turn, focused his speech on the Covid pandemic. In the country where the omicron variant was first sequenced, South Africa had already complained about the international response, and the theme came back in the president’s speech: “It is a matter of great concern that the rest of the global community has not upheld principles of solidarity and cooperation on equitable access to vaccines”.

Ramaphosa also defended peaceful solutions to conflicts, in an indirect reference to the War in Ukraine, and led the call for the democratization of UN forums, with more inclusion of emerging countries. “So that multilateral institutions can effectively face global challenges.”

Along the same lines, Jair Bolsonaro (PL) called for the reform of international organizations – namely the World Bank, the IMF and the UN Security Council. “The growing weight of emerging economies must have the due and deserved representation,” said the Brazilian president.

Of the nations that make up the BRICS, only South Africa is outside the Security Council. Russia and China are permanent members of the collegiate, and India and Brazil are among the rotating members.

Bolsonaro, who has not been active in war diplomacy, also did not mention the conflict in Eastern Europe. In a quick passage related to the subject, however, he said that nations should prioritize the “diplomatic exercise that produces prosperity and peace”. He, who was with Putin on a controversial visit to Moscow in February, days before the start of the invasion, thanked the Russian for his receptivity.

The Brazilian leader was also left with a gaffe at the summit. Twice, he mispronounced the surname of South African Cyril Ramaphosa. Instead of “Ramaphosa”, Bolsonaro said “fox”.

Also in the text of the final declaration published by the Russian government, the member countries say they are committed to the promotion of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The five nations —in particular China, Russia and India—, however, are the target of criticism for violations of human rights and suppression of political freedoms, leading to environments of asphyxiating democracy, as in Beijing, or of widespread deterioration of the system, as in the other cases.​

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