Brics summit: a counterweight to the West emerging?

The Brics states are convening in Johannesburg for a summit that ends on Thursday. The goal is to push for a "redesigned global order", South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said. In addition to members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, more than 30 countries from Africa, Latin America and Asia want to participate in the meeting — and in some cases also join the group. Europe’s press discusses where all this could lead.

Adevărul (RO) /

The cards are being reshuffled

The power structure that emerged in the post-war period no longer corresponds to the current situation, Adevărul observes:

“The states of the Global South have a number of leaders who have discovered that the geopolitical situation (once again dominated by the struggle for strategic resources) is no longer the same as it was in 1945, when the basis of the current international order came into being. Back then the US accounted for 45 percent of the global GDP and five European states still owned most of Africa and a significant part of Asia.”

Cristian Unteanu
Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Expansion would be tricky

An enlarged Brics group could become a problem, Corriere della Sera warns:

“One specific point on the agenda which would have immediate implications is the proposed expansion of the bloc founded in 2009. ... More than twenty countries, including Saudi Arabia, have reportedly asked to join. This is a delicate matter: any step towards admitting the world’s second-largest oil producer into an economic bloc with Russia and China would undoubtedly attract the attention of the US and its allies in a particularly tense geopolitical climate. In addition, it should be borne in mind that Cuba and Iran are also knocking on the Brics’s door and (for now) only India is preventing their entry.”

Paolo Salom
The Times (GB) /

A long way from unity

The group’s political clout is not the reason a number of other states want to join, The Times comments:

“A largely dysfunctional organisation does not improve or gain weight by simple expansion. At the heart of the Brics is the split between three, albeit flawed, democracies — South Africa, India and Brazil, who want to retain a strong relationship with western donors — and the allied autocracies of China and Russia. All can agree that they want to reduce US hegemony. Yet India, for example, increasingly sees itself as a rival to China and has no enthusiasm for an expanded Brics that locks it into an anti-western Beijing bloc.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

No joint foundation

Radio Kommersant FM also sees divisive factors:

“There are certain contradictions among the Brics countries, especially regarding two key issues — the expansion of the group and the introduction of a common currency. Brazil is against the first, India against the second. For the time being, the strategy to end the monopoly of the dollar (which is not an easy process) as well as create an alternative to the G7 is not working. ... But the main problem is: there needs to be a unifying basic concept — a foundation. Dislike of America and the Western world is not enough for integration to work.”

Dmitrij Drise
Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Double humiliation for Putin

For Rzeczpospolita the Russian ruler is already among the big losers of the meeting:

“Vladimir Putin must be content with participation by video feed. He will not travel to South Africa for fear of being arrested at the request of the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes in Ukraine. This humiliation for the Russian head of state is compounded by another: shortly before the meeting in Johannesburg, the Luna-25 probe, which was supposed to prove that Russia is at the forefront of the conquest of space, crashed.”

Jerzy Haszczyński