BRICS Nations Discuss Russia’s War on Ukraine

Foreign ministers from the brics economic bloc—comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—are meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, today to discuss “the major fault lines in the geopolitical front and the economic front,” according to South African Ambassador Anil Sooklal. One of the main issues the representatives will address is Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The brics nations have not formally taken a common stance on the Ukraine War. However, most of them have taken a position contrary to the West and have generally refrained from condemning Russia for its brutal invasion.

Ahead of today’s meeting, Sooklal said the military aid the West is sending Ukraine “fuels the conflict,” and “does not solve the problem.” He added: “All it does is cause more pain and suffering and, as brics countries, this is what we are saying: Let’s focus on finding a peaceful resolution to the challenges, rather than fueling the conflict.”

brics is positioning itself as an alternative to the West and as a way to make space for emerging powers.
—Cobus van Staden, senior researcher at the South African Institute for International Affairs

Future summit: Today’s brics meeting is the forerunner of a larger summit planned for August in Johannesburg. Russian President Vladimir Putin was invited to the Johannesburg summit, but it is not certain he will attend.

In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin for the war crime of unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. South Africa is a signatory to the international court treaty and would be required to detain Putin if he came to the summit.

Because of this, South Africa told Putin not to come. Yet some government officials continue trying to clear hurdles so he can visit safely.

Against the West: From its founding, the brics alliance has sought to reshape global politics and the global economy. One of the main ways it tries to achieve this is by positioning itself against the West—particularly America—and encouraging smaller, developing countries to join. To learn about the important of this alliance, read “Watch the Rise of BRICS.”