Compiled by Rick Rozoff for Stop NATO.
Voice of Russia March 29, 2012
BRICS countries on Syria crisis Polina Chernitsa
Russia has urged the BRICS Group of counties to render humanitarian assistance to Syria. A statement to this effect was made by President Dmitry Medvedev following the BRICS summit in New Delhi. All BRICS countries deem foreign interference in Syria as unacceptable.
The Syrian crisis topped the agenda of the BRICS summit. President Medvedev described the position of the BRICS countries on Syria as constructive and coordinated. Russia, India, China, Brazil and South Africa stand for further dialogue between parties to the Syrian conflict without intervention from outside, Medevedev said.
“The principles of normalization for Syria have all been made clear ever since Kofi Annan’s mission got down to work. There can be no foreign intervention in Syria. The Syrian government, on the one hand, and the opposition forces, on the other, should engage in dialogue. The government and the opposition in Syria should believe in dialogue rather than follow a short-sighted approach by saying that dialogue is doomed and that only military operations can restore order in the country. Russia will exert efforts to secure the success of the dialogue. The BRICS countries have swapped opinion on this issue and Russia has called on them to render humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people. Russia has already been providing Syria with relief supplies.”
President Medvedev said that the participants in the summit exchanged opinion on the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program and looked into the possibility of giving membership in the UN Security Council to India, Brazil, and South Africa. Medvedev said that Russia saw these countries as “strong candidates” and was ready to support them.
Itar-Tass March 29, 2012
BRICS states warn about terrible consequences of conflict in Iran
NEW DELHI: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa warn about the catastrophic aftermath if the situation around Iran escalates into a conflict.
In their declaration, the BRICS group of emerging market nations warned that if the situation grows into a conflict it will be in nobody’s interests.
BRICS leaders believe that Iran plays a key role in the peaceful development and prosperity of the region, which is very important politically and economically.
The BRICS leaders admitted their concern about the situation that develops around Iran’s nuclear program. They stressed that they recognize the right of Iran to peaceful uses of nuclear energy in line with its international commitments and UN Security Council resolutions, and favor the settlement of problems connected with that politically and diplomatically, as well as through a dialogue of the interested parties, including a dialogue between the IAEA and Iran.
Interfax March 29, 2012
Iran situation must not be allowed to turn into a conflict – BRICS leaders
DELHI: The situation around Iran must not be allowed to turn into a conflict, the leaders of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) said in a declaration.
This situation must be stopped from growing into a conflict, the catastrophic consequences of which will not meet anyone’s interests, they said.
Iran is bound to play a key role in promoting the peaceful development and prosperity of the region, which is increasingly important both politically and economically, the BRICS leaders said, expressing hope that Iran would play this role as a responsible member of the international community.
They also expressed concern over the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear issue.
The BRICS states recognize Iran’s right to use civilian nuclear technology in accordance with its international obligations and want all of these problems to be resolved by political and diplomatic methods through dialogue involving all of the sides, among them the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran, in compliance with the UN Security Council’s appropriate resolutions, the declaration says.
Itar-Tass March 29, 2012
BRICS should be one of key elements of global management system
NEW DELHI: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said BRICS could be one of the key elements of the global management system.
“In the future our organisation can be one of the key elements of the global management system. Russia believes that BRICS should present itself as a new model of relations that are built without any stereotypes and constructions of ‘a bridge’ and a ‘mediator’,” Medvedev said at an expanded meeting on Thursday.
In his words, such approach towards uniting the states with the population of about three billion people will restrict its possibilities to pursue an independent and coordinating policy on the international arena.
Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2012
BRICS countries say Western countries’ monetary policy hurting emerging economies
NEW DELHI: The BRICS countries Thursday expressed concerns over the monetary policy pursued by the Western countries, saying it has been hurting the emerging economies of the world.
According to a draft declaration by the BRICS, aggressive monetary easing by Western central banks to revive growth in their economies is hurting emerging nations which are facing a rush of destabilizing capital inflows.
“Excessive liquidity because of the central bank actions has been spilling over into emerging economies, fostering excessive volatility in capital flows and commodity prices,” according to the document.
It also says that the BRICS group wants steps to avoid escalation of the Iran oil crisis and favored a diplomatic resolution to the problem.
Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BRICS nations, are attending a one-day summit in the Indian capital.
RT March 29, 2012
BRICS agree to local currency credits to ease dollar dependency
The BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have agreed to provide credit to each other in local currencies. Officials say the deal will facilitate economic growth in times of crisis.
The currency swap deal is aimed at promoting trade and investment in local currencies as well as to cut transaction costs. It’s also seen as a step to replace the dollar as a reserve currency in trade between BRICS.
“The idea is in line with many interests and economic exigencies in the world economy,” Yaroslav Lissovolik, the chief economist at Deutsche Bank told RT. “The euro and dollar are no longer seen as unquestionable monopolies in the role of reserve currencies. Clearly the world needs more reserve currencies.”
The deal would also increase the BRICS influence on the international arena and will make their cooperation less sensitive to sanctions from the West, experts say.
“The BRICS countries are in the first rank to do the job that international financial system now needs. What the BRICS said was a very welcomed wake up call,” John Kirton, the Co-Director of the BRICS Reasearch Group told RT.
Russia and China have been trading in the rouble and yuan for several years, now Russia plans to expand local currency settlement with India.
“With China it took us three years to (evolve) from initial conversations to trading in local currencies,” Vladimir Dmitriev, the chairman of Russia’ s VEB told reporters. “I think we will meet similar terms with India”.
Meanwhile the swap requires a lot of technical work by each country such as the synchronization of national banking legislation, according to Mr. Dmitriev.
The BRICS countries are also going to announce plans on a joint development bank which is considered a possible rival to the World Bank and the IMF. If established, it would function as a lending agency and would provide finance for joint BRICS projects.
“They made it very clear it would be built to benefit not only BRICS countries themselves, but developing countries more broadly,” said Kirton.
“But the big message was to give the World Bank more resources, only then would they see how the BRICS bank would fit in the supplement what they’ve already got.”
Xinhua News Agency March 29, 2012
Chinese, Russian presidents vow to lift bilateral ties to new level
NEW DELHI: Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev discussed bilateral ties and other issues of common concern here on Wednesday, agreeing to promote China-Russia relations to a new level.
During their meeting on the sidelines of the fourth BRICS Summit, which groups China, Brazile, India, Russia and South Africa, the two leaders agreed to make joint efforts to lift their all-round strategic cooperation partnership to a new level.
Hu said the two countries last year charted the course and set the goal for the development of the bilateral relationship in the next decade and developed a plan for cooperation in various fields.
The move had given fresh impetus to the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, Hu said.
Hu expressed hope that, in the current complex and ever-changing international situation, China and Russia could take a more active stance to implement major consensus on bilateral cooperation, maintain close high-level contacts and bolster political support for each other.
Meanwhile, efforts should be made to secure the smooth operation of various cooperation mechanisms to further advance collaboration on major projects covering such fields as trade, the economy, energy, aerospace, high-technology and culture, Hu said.
He said the two sides should jointly ensure the success of the Year of Tourism in each country and expand exchanges between their young people.
Medvedev said frequent high-level contacts and prompt exchange of views on bilateral ties and other major issues were of high importance in ensuring bilateral relations stayed on the right track.
He said Russia was ready to maintain regular exchanges of high-level visits and close communication.
Last year, two-way trade between the two countries hit a record high, he said, adding that energy cooperation on major oil and nuclear energy projects progressed smoothly.
Medvedev said Moscow was confident of meeting the goal of achieving 100 billion U.S. dollars in bilateral trade per year by 2015 and 200 billion dollars by 2020.
BRICS to focus on Syria, Iran today Sandeep Dikshit
The Hindu March 29, 2012
Russia, China against any bid to put the five nations under threat of intervention
“We are worried at the U.S. and Israeli threats to use force against that country. A new war in the region, already overburdened with armed conflicts and acute crises, will rapidly deteriorate the situation in the vast Asian region, will entail shocks in the oil markets and, therefore, in the entire global economy,” [Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin] said.
On Thursday morning, the strategic community around the world will be focussed on the outcome of the hour-long restricted meeting between the heads of government of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to see if they can forge an effective and common approach to the problems facing Syria and Iran.
Russia and China have made it clear that they will press for opposing any West-led attempt to put these countries under the threat of intervention. But the stand of the other three BRICS members will have to be reconciled with that of Russia and China. India opposes foreign military intervention in principle but has broken ranks with the two by opting to vote with the West on Syria.
South Africa has tended to succumb to hustling by the West as happened last year when it was in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and inclined to side with other BRICS countries on Libya. But sustained pressure from the West ensured that South Africa, along with Nigeria, the other African nation in the UNSC at that time, supported the West.
On Iran, the West is pressuring both China and India on reducing oil imports from Tehran at a time when they are in no position to do so because of mounting energy needs. But a common position on Iran will be easier to formulate after the BRICS Trade Ministers’ statement on the summit eve.
The Ministers were tactful but left no doubt where their collective sympathies lay. “We respect U.N. resolutions…at the same time the U.N. resolution does not forbid countries to engage in trade in essential commodities and what is required for human good…Therefore, we look at things…in a very pragmatic manner and remain within the ambit of the U.N. resolution,” said Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
But on Syria, China which describes BRICS as on the way to becoming “a major power in the process of solutions to the world’s political problems,” is reconciled to the leaders not concurring in entirety.
Speaking to journalists in Beijing last week, Li Kexin, Foreign Ministry’s senior negotiator for BRICS, admitted that while the five nations wanted a peaceful Middle East, they can have different ideas on specific approaches. “It doesn’t matter. This is not a formal UNSC resolution. We will be trying to find a common political ground on the Syrian issue,” added Mr. Li.
Both Syria and Iran assume importance even though they are essentially topical issues because it was only at the last summit that BRICS introduced a political element by commenting on Libya.
While India has officially not said anything on its approach to Syria at the BRICS summit, Russia has expressed concern over “foreign interference” in domestic affairs of sovereign countries. Like China, it downplays its differences of approach with India.
“It is a sovereign decision of India and we respect that. But we vetoed [the Syria resolution in the UNSC] because we oppose outside imposition on any sovereign country,” said Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin.
“We are worried at the U.S. and Israeli threats to use force against that country. A new war in the region, already overburdened with armed conflicts and acute crises, will rapidly deteriorate the situation in the vast Asian region, will entail shocks in the oil markets and, therefore, in the entire global economy,” he said.
The BRICS summit is expected to sign two enabling agreements on setting up a development bank and local credit facility.
“Two agreements would be signed during the summit. These emanate from decisions taken in Brasilia. These are framework agreements arrived after banks of all five countries met twice. These are enabling agreements subject to national laws,” said Sudhir Vyas, Secretary (ER) in the Ministry of External Affairs.