At the 15th annual summit of BRICS held in South Africa from Aug. 22-24, the current five member states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) collectively agreed to extend invitations to six countries for joining the group on Jan. 1, 2024. These countries include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirmed that all the newly invited nations have expressed their willingness to become members of BRICS, displaying gratitude and appreciation for the invitation.
Ryabkov emphasized that while the organization is moving forward with expansion, it is prudent to allow time for the new member states to adapt to the bloc’s dynamics. He likened the process to a “football team,” borrowing a phrase from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and stressed the importance of coordination and adaptation among the new members. Ryabkov acknowledged that while there might be speculation about potential candidates for the next wave of expansion, the current focus remains on the successful integration of the six new countries.
As part of the ongoing process, an updated list of potential candidates for BRICS membership will be presented for consideration at the group’s next annual summit, which will be hosted by Russia as it takes over the one-year rotating chairmanship from South Africa. Ryabkov emphasized that the core requirement for further expansion is a strong political will and a determined intention to continue moving forward as a united bloc.