Wednesday was a momentous day in the history of the BRICS club. During a day of intense diplomatic activity, the leaders of the emerging nations agreed not only to the expansion of the group, but also on ‘guidelines and principles, processes for considering countries that wish to become members of BRICS’, according to the South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.
But the day was far from over when an even more historical feat was achieved, as the Indian Chandrayaan-3 soft landed on the Moon’s south Pole.
4 years after the tears of losing the Chandrayaan-2 in the very last minutes, PM Modi was all smile as he celebrated via video link with the elated mission control crew.
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“Leaders of the BRICS bloc of leading developing countries have agreed mechanisms for considering new members, South Africa said on Wednesday, paving the way for dozens of interested nations to join the group which has pledged to champion the ‘Global South’.
Agreement on expansion could help lend global clout to BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – at a time when geopolitical polarization is spurring efforts by Beijing and Moscow to forge it into a viable counterweight to the West.”
South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor said that the countries agreed on guidelines, principles and processes for the countries that wish to become members of BRICS.
The divisions over how much and how quickly that expansion should entail were smoothed at night at a private dinner in a luxurious villa around Johannesburg.
40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, and 22 have formally asked to be admitted. While all members eventually agreed to the enlargement of the club, this is understood to be primarily an agenda pushed by China.
“‘The world is undergoing major shifts, division and regrouping … it has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation’, said China’s President Xi Jinping, who has long pushed for the expansion of the BRICS group.
‘Development is an inalienable right of all countries. It is not a privilege reserved for a few’,” he told the summit earlier on Wednesday.”
Modi is flying high, as one would expect. Even before the confirmation of the success of Chandrayaan-3, the Indian Prime Minister had his sights on up above.
India Times reported:
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the creation of a BRICS space consortium, hours before a spacecraft from the South Asian nation attempts to land near the moon’s south pole.
Modi was speaking at the plenary session of the BRICS bloc — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
[…] ‘In a few hours, India’s space craft will be landing on the moon. We congratulate you’, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said after Modi’s speech. ‘This for the BRICS family is a momentous moment’.”
But of course, while the diplomatic activity remained intense for the whole day, with a multitude of bilateral meetings, the second day of BRICS summit was darkened with the news of the presumed death of Wagner PMC’s Evgene Prigozhin, in a plane accident, in Russia.
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The rumor mill started to crank immediately. From the other side of the world, Brandon suggests Putin is behind Wagner boss Prigozhin’s death: ‘there is not much that happens in Russia that Putin is not behind’.
The suspicions may not be totally unfounded, if we take into consideration a video from June 24th, after the Wagner mutiny, in which he stated unambiguosly: ‘All those who deliberately embarked on the path of betrayal will suffer inevitable punishment, Putin said. The Russian Armed Forces received the necessary order.’