Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 7.2022
2022.02.14 — 2022.02.20
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Press release on Russia-Brazil talks between the foreign and defence ministers in the 2+2 format (Пресс-релиз о российско-бразильских переговорах министров иностранных дел и обороны в формате 2+2) / Russia, February, 2022
Keywords: sergey_lavrov, top_level_meeting

On February 16, the first Russia-Brazil talks in the 2+2 format were held in Moscow. The Russian delegation included Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, while Brazil was represented by Foreign Minister Carlos França and Defence Minister Walter Souza Braga Netto.

The ministers had a deep and detailed discussion and assessment of development trends in the world and in certain regions, including the military and political aspects. Interaction at the United Nations was also discussed, as was the UN Security Council where Brazil was elected as a non-permanent member for 2022-2023. BRICS and several other international associations were discussed as well. Special attention was given to countering terrorism and drug trafficking, non-proliferation and armament control, and international cybersecurity.

The mutual commitment to strengthen the Russian-Brazilian strategic partnership was reaffirmed.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during Russian-Brazilian talks in the 2 + 2 format, Moscow, February 16, 2022 (Вступительное слово Министра иностранных дел С.В.Лаврова на российско-бразильских переговорах в формате 2+2, Москва, 16 февраля 2022 г.) / Russia, February, 2022
Keywords: sergey_lavrov, speech, top_level_meeting

Esteemed Ministers,

We are delighted to welcome you to Moscow. For the first time, Russian-Brazilian relations are enriched with the new 2 + 2 format involving foreign and defence ministers.

On behalf of our delegation, I would like to offer condolences in connection with the tragic events, caused by a flood and landslides in Petropolis in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state. I would like to ask you to convey our condolences to the families of the deceased.

Our meeting is held during President Jair Bolsonaro's visit to the Russian Federation and in conjunction with his talks with President Vladimir Putin that are to begin within hours. I am confident that our talks will help review, in greater detail, specific aspects of our foreign policy interaction and cooperation to strengthen security.

We are interested in an independent role for Latin America and the Caribbean on the international scene. We can see that Brazil is playing a leading and central role in facilitating the development of this highly important region.

We value our interaction within multilateral formats, including regional associations in your region, as well as within the UN, BRICS and the G20.

Russia-China Alliance Grows Stronger as U.S. Retreats from World Stage (Российско-китайский альянс укрепляется на фоне ухода США с мировой арены) / United States, February, 2022
Keywords: political_issues, expert_opinion
United States

By Jack Hanes

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin stood side by side during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on Feb. 4. Their joint appearance not only delivered the most forthright display of Sino-Russian unity for decades, but also what observers saw as the clearest signal yet that the two are intent on shaping a new world order — one in which America's postwar global dominance is in retreat and autocratic regimes can thrive in the space left behind.

"They see this as a post-Trump world where the Americans pulled out of Afghanistan in disarray, they don't seem to be able to deter the Russians and they can't even manage Covid," said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London. "So it may not be totally stupid and wrong if they say that 'the East is rising and the West is declining.'"

With democracy backsliding globally, the resolve of Russia and China has been particularly strengthened by the perceived U.S. retreat from the global stage and the erosion of its own values at home, he said. This has created a void, in the eyes of some in Beijing and Moscow, into which the two countries are only too happy to step.

That idea is not entirely new.

Since at least 2008, government officials and intellectual elites in China and Russia have been predicting or advocating the end of America's postwar dominance. But a 5,000-word joint statement was the first time these countries have together spelled out their vision so comprehensively for this "multipolar" future.

"A trend has emerged towards redistribution of power in the world," the statement said. This "new era" will "ensure peace, stability and sustainable development," it added, rather than the "power politics" and "bullying" of U.S. supremacy where "the weak fall prey to the strong."

Story continues

Crucially, the end of American dominance would stop the West from trying to "interfere in the internal affairs of other states, infringing their legitimate rights and interests," the statement said, repeating a long-standing complaint used to push back against Western calls for democratic, legal and economic reforms.

Without naming names, the message was clear: Washington does not have the might or the right to act as the world's police.

The extent of American decline has been debated for years within Chinese circles of power, said Kingsley Edney, who teaches politics and Chinese international relations at the University of Leeds in England. Articulating it so strongly last week is "maybe a sign and this is something that's becoming more of a consensus view within the establishment," he said.

Indeed, the rise of the East and the decline of the West have become a common refrain for Xi and his top officials — and not without evidence. China is projected to become the world's largest economy this decade and is building the equivalent of the French navy every four years, German and French officials.

The same cannot be said for Russia, which, though punching above its weight thanks to its large gas reserves and nuclear arsenal, is still a midsize economic power whose gross domestic product is smaller than that of Italy. But in China, it now has a powerful partner which last week fell in behind several of its demands, including effectively barring Ukraine from ever joining NATO.

Beijing is also now Moscow's largest trading partner, with nearly $150 billion of imports and exports last year.

Some academics believe the world has already moved on from being "unipolar" in which Washington's dominance was built on what it likes to call the "the rules-based order." That system of values is predicated, in theory at least, on democracy, human rights and international free trade.

In reality, America has often contradicted these ideals, from its own history of slavery and segregation to funding right-wing regime change in Latin America. But it's only relatively recently that foreign powers have seriously questioned its economic, cultural and military supremacy.

When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, some thinkers believed that the Western liberal model had prevailed for good: Democracy had won a global victory and it was only a matter of time before the authoritarians of the world fell in line.

"It gave the United States the ability and the possibility to do whatever it saw fit on the world stage," Fyodor Lukyanov, a Russian foreign policy analyst who heads a body that advises the Kremlin, wrote last year. "There were no external restraints left."

Fast forward 30 years — through financial crises, several heavily criticized U.S.-led invasions and administrations that departed from many foreign policy norms — and Washington's place in the world looks quite different.

In 16 countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center in spring 2021, on average just 17 percent of people said the U.S. was a good model for democracy, and 57 percent said it used to be.

International faith in the Western model took a hit following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the financial crisis of 2008. But Donald Trump's election dismayed long-standing allies and shocked enemies in a way few previous events had done, particularly his criticism of the very institutions on which postwar American power had been built, and his promotion of the conspiracy theory that he won the 2020 presidential election, which he lost.

President Joe Biden was seen by many as a relief. But America's continued struggles to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the false belief of many Republicans in Trump's baseless claim that he won has only deepened these theories of declinism abroad.

It's unclear what the Sino-Russian partnership means for this standoff on the fringes of Europe. China backed Russia's demand that Ukraine should never join NATO, but experts believe it would not want a war because of its trading links to Kyiv.

With tensions at an all-time high and Russia holding military drills in the nearby Black Sea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Putin on Monday and suggested that the Kremlin should continue its diplomatic route with the U.S. and its allies. The Kremlin also said Putin has approved his latest response in the back-and-forth with the U.S. over Moscow's sweeping security demands, which would reshape the post-Cold War landscape in Europe.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday relations between Moscow and Washington were "on the floor" despite a call between Biden and Putin on Saturday.

Russia shifting so much military resource to its European flank is a sign of how comfortable it feels leaving its east side relatively undefended, according to Michael Kofman, the research program director in the Russia Studies Program at CNA, a Washington-area think tank.

But Tsang at SOAS University says it's certain that officials in Beijing will be closely watching the Western response to Ukraine. Though Washington and its European allies have stressed they are all on the same page, there have been hints of division, with Germany in particular favoring a more moderate approach toward the Kremlin.

Vivarae News

The views in the article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of InfoBRICS.

Has Global Geopolitics Turned Multipolar? (Глобальная геополитика стала многополярной?) / India, February, 2022
Keywords: expert_opinion, global_governance

By Rajiv Bhatia

The 4 February summit in Beijing between President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir Putin of Russia underscored their growing strategic affinity. This assumes significance in light of the two leaders' serious contestations with the West on a range of issues from Taiwan to Ukraine, and from security and economy to technology. Earlier in 2021, the separate summits attended by President Joe Biden of G7 leaders and NATO leaders as well as the Summit for Democracy hosted by Biden were astute endeavours to rally allies and partners against the West's major adversaries, China and Russia.

So, has global geopolitics turned multipolar, or has multipolarity become tinged with bipolarity?

Trajectory in brief

Conventional wisdom suggests that for much of the Cold War period (1945–89), the world was bipolar, divided into the Western bloc led by the US and the communist camp led by the Soviet Union. Even then, though this was accompanied by important multi-directional trends: the Non-Aligned Movement represented 'the third way'; France, in its Gaullist colours, often followed an independent line; and following the Sino-Soviet rift, Mao's China functioned both as a partner and competitor of the USSR, especially after the Nixon-Kissinger team deftly executed a great US opening towards Beijing in 1971.

After the Cold War ended with the demise of the Soviet Union, the 1990s saw the US enjoy its 'unipolar moment', presiding over world affairs with no rival in sight. But this was short-lived. As the 21st century opened, the rise of China, coupled with the consolidation of Eurasian powers under the Russia-India-China (RIC) forum and emerging economies under BRICS as a platform representing the new forces of South-South cooperation, brought in the brave, new multipolar world.

Another wave of change appeared after the financial crisis of 2008–09, which gathered momentum after the emergence of Xi Jinping as China's supremo in 2012. This nation's assertiveness began to turn into aggressive behaviour all along its periphery and globally, enhancing inter-state tensions in Asia and beyond. The Covid era (February 2020 till date) has accentuated it.

This complex political pattern has made multipolarity quite wobbly and unstable. Today's geopolitics is like a table with two big, though uneven, legs – the US and China – and several medium-sized and smaller legs such as Russia, EU, Japan, India and others.

Western perspective

Against the above backdrop, the Biden Administration adopted a policy that is both similar and yet different from the line of his predecessor Donald Trump who preferred to keep the US focused on its internal economy. With Biden, Washington has gone for re-engagement with the world, emphasizing that 'the US is back' as the leader and reliable partner for its European and other regional allies and friends.

On the Indo-Pacific – the central theatre of global politics today – the new administration rapidly went beyond Trump's measures. It took initiatives to develop the Quad (comprising the US, India, Japan and Australia) into a broader and more substantive partnership designed to tackle the China challenge in multiple domains covering security, economy and technology. That is what the two Quad summits hosted by Biden in March and September 2021 achieved. The creation of AUKUS, involving a military alliance among the US, UK and Australia, added strategic heft to the increasing resistance to China. The Quad foreign ministers meeting in Australia on 11 February will factor in new developments, including the impact of the Ukraine crisis on security in the Indo-Pacific.

Washington had foreseen the complexity and potential for differences with Russia over an array of global and European security issues. The Biden-Putin summit held in Geneva in June 2021 sought to address them. For a while, it created the impression that the US was ready to implement 'the reverse-Kissinger' strategy in order to wean Moscow from its close embrace with Beijing, through creative diplomacy. But this effort went nowhere. That, along with NATO's provocations on expanding its membership in formerly no-go areas, resulted in Putin deploying over 100,000 troops along the border with Ukraine, considered a buffer state for Russia. Putin demanded a ban on Ukraine's entry into NATO and a reduction in NATO's deployments and activities in other states bordering Russia. Not all NATO powers are in favour of the US hardline. For example, Germany is concerned about its energy dependency and Ukraine does not want to become a casualty of US-Russia rivalry. Multi-layered negotiations between the US and Russia, NATO and Russia, and under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have remained largely unproductive so far.

China-Russia tango

In this impasse, Russia's turning towards its strategic partner China, is expected. The message from the Beijing summit is clear: neither Russia nor China is alone, and acting in concert they represent a formidable challenge to the US-led western camp which stands divided on its approach towards the two powers. The joint statement issued on the occasion stresses that relations between the two are "superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era," and adds: "Friendship between the two states has no limits, there are no 'forbidden' areas of cooperation".

Three key elements of the joint statement reflect a sophisticated understanding of the current reality. First, it sees the world going through momentous changes and rapid developments that amount to "multipolarity" and transformation of the world order. It blames some "actors" who are in a minority in the world to advocate "unilateral approaches to addressing international issues and resort to force." The veiled reference is to the West, while the charge about unilateralism applies to the two signatories too, especially China.

Second, considerable space has been devoted to projecting the credentials of China and Russia as "long-standing democracies" and defenders of human rights, but such spurious claims lack credibility. Third, the statement swears by the older term 'Asia-Pacific Region', thus eschewing and opposing the wider use of the new coinage 'Indo-Pacific' favoured by the Quad powers and ASEAN. China and Russia have both expressed serious concern over the formation of AUKUS as a security partnership and called on its members "to fulfil their nuclear and missile non-proliferation commitments in good faith."

This summit was noteworthy for Russia reiterating its support to China on the Taiwan issue, and China extending support to Russia on the Ukraine question. The People's Daily portrayed the strengthened relationship as "an important guarantee for maintaining international strategic balance, world peace and stability." A Russia-focused view reveals two important perceptions, according to a Carnegie paper: i) Moscow is keen "to push back on US primacy in areas that it considers within its sphere of privileged interests", and ii) "The relationship with China is at the top of Russian priorities in Asia."

In the China-Russia sphere, bilateralism wins over multilateralism. This deep partnership, just short of a formal military alliance, is the outcome of exceptional coordination. Its fundamental motivation could be a defensive posture to confront an aggressive West, or a calculated move by the two powers, now forming a new axis, to expand their influence in Asia and Europe respectively at a time when they see American power on the decline.

China and Russia are not alone in confronting the West. Pakistan has been a time-tested partner of China's. Prime Minister Imran Khan too was present in Beijing for the Winter Olympics and used the opportunity to conclude an agreement to finalize the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Imran Khan is set to visit Russia soon and President Putin is likely to reciprocate, reflecting Pakistan's moving even closer to the China-Russia axis. Iran is another strategically-placed nation that is enmeshed in long-standing disputes with the US and has, therefore, built economic and energy ties with China and Russia. This emerging group of four nations portrayed as China's Quad is another face of new multipolarity.

India's strategy

It is a complex multipolar world where different power centres are coalescing under two leading nations – the US, the No. 1 power and China, the No. 2 power. India, with its NAM heritage and lingering commitment to strategic autonomy, is faced with new challenges. Three decades after the Cold War, New Delhi finds itself participating in the summits of BRICS and Quad, in the Summit for Democracy, in the summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) dominated by authoritarian member-states, of the G7 as a special guest as well as in RIC meetings. This is how India's policy of multi-alignment has evolved. So far, it has adequately served the country's interests.

But what happens if the fault lines between the western camp and the emerging China-Russia-Pakistan-Iran camp widen further? This is likely if the current diplomatic impasse on Ukraine degenerates into a military conflict, or if China chooses to take Taiwan by force.

India, already handicapped by China's refusal to resolve the border crisis in Ladakh through negotiations, needs to sharpen its diplomacy while focusing its national energy and attention to augment its military, economic, and technological power as well as soft power and social harmony.

Sharpening diplomacy should include i) further consolidation of the Quad, ii) safeguarding political, defence, energy and space cooperation with Russia, iii) deepening a strategic partnership with France, iv) persisting with a line that blends military resolve with diplomatic resilience towards China, and v) expanding its cooperative ties with willing partners in the extended neighbourhood and other regions.

This is what will keep India's fundamental goal in constant view: to make Asia multipolar, which alone will pave the way for genuine multipolarity in the coming decades.

Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House and former Ambassador/High Commissioner to Myanmar, Mexico, Kenya, South Africa and Lesotho.

Hindustan Times

The views in the article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of InfoBRICS.

Putin says he held substantive, constructive talks with Brazil's Bolsonaro (Путин заявил, что провел предметные и конструктивные переговоры с президентом Бразилии Болсонару) / Russia, February, 2022
Keywords: vladimir_putin, jair_bolsonaro, top_level_meeting

Russia and Brazil are traditionally bound by a relationship of friendship and mutual understanding, the Russian President pointed out

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro held comprehensive and productive talks in the Kremlin on Wednesday, which resulted in a joint statement on cooperation.

"Today we have had very substantive and constructive talks, which resulted in a joint statement that lays down the guidelines to further strengthen Russian-Brazilian cooperation," Putin said.

"Russia and Brazil are traditionally bound by a relationship of friendship and mutual understanding. Our countries' strategic partnership encompasses a variety of areas," the Russian president said.

According to Putin, both countries seek to foster political, economic and humanitarian ties and to maintain close cooperation in the international arena, including within BRICS and G20.

Putin added that Russia and Brazil are willing to consistently boost economic cooperation. He recalled that Brazil is Russia's leading trade partner in Latin America, accounting for a third of Russia's trade with that region. In 2021 bilateral trade surged despite the obstacles caused by the pandemic.

The Russian president hailed the major role of the bilateral interdepartmental commission, whose latest regular session took place last autumn. In addition, key Brazilian economic ministers visited Russia then upon Bolsonaro's personal order.

A meeting of the Russian-Brazilian high-level commission chaired by the Russian prime minister and the Brazilian vice president is expected to be convened in the near future, Putin noted.

He added that bilateral councils of entrepreneurs operate very efficiently.

Brazil at SPIEF

"I would like to emphasize that Brazil has always been heavily represented at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)," the Russian president said.

He recalled that last year Bolsonaro addressed participants in the SPIEF plenary meeting via video link and thanked the Brazilian president for that.

According to Putin, this year's SPIEF is expected to be attended by a delegation of Brazilian politicians, public figures and business people.

Joint Statement by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (Совместное заявление Президента Российской Федерации Владимира Путина и Президента Федеративной Республики Бразилия Жаира Болсонару) / Russia, February, 2022
Keywords: concluded_agreements, vladimir_putin, jair_bolsonaro

On 16 February 2022, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, who arrived on an official visit to the Russian Federation at the invitation of the Russian leader.

The meeting of the Presidents took place in a cordial and trusting atmosphere, reflecting historical ties of friendship and cooperation between Russia and Brazil.

The Heads of State stressed their determination to strengthen strategic partnership, deepen political dialogue and increase the level of bilateral relations based on respect for sovereignty, international law, and the principles of the rule of law shared by the two countries. They also reaffirmed their commitment to developing an inclusive, equitable, and representative international system in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, aimed at promoting peace, democracy, and prosperity for all peoples.

The leaders noted the intensification of bilateral high-level visits and the positive outcome of the XI meeting of the Russian-Brazilian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, held in Brasilia in October 2021, as well as emphasized the importance of holding the VIII meeting of the Russian-Brazilian High-Level Commission on Cooperation during the first four months of 2022 in Rio de Janeiro.

The Presidents welcomed the dynamic development of bilateral cooperation in agriculture, energy, environmental protection, defense, science and technology, education, and culture.

The Heads of State welcomed reaching by bilateral trade of a pre-pandemic level and reaffirmed their mutual interest in expanding and diversifying bilateral trade by increasing the share of goods with high added value, as well as economic cooperation. The sides reaffirmed their commitment to working together towards achieving a better balance in trade.

The Heads of State urged Russian and Brazilian entrepreneurs to take advantage of business and investment opportunities of both countries. They welcomed the activities of the Russia-Brazil Business Council and the resumption of work of the Brazil-Russia Business Council, which serve as important tools to promote cooperation in this area.

The Presidents commended the increase in supplies of Russian fertilizers to Brazil.

They noted the need for further cooperation in the agro-industrial sector. The sides stressed the importance of further interaction between the oversight authorities of Russia and Brazil with a view to improving access to the markets of both countries, including by increasing the number of companies authorized to export products of animal and plant origin, as well as fish.

The Presidents appreciated the level of interaction between the customs services of Russia and Brazil, aimed at simplifying customs procedures and ensuring the security of bilateral trade.

The Heads of State stressed the vast potential for the development of cooperation and new business initiatives in the field of energy, emphasizing the two countries' complementarity in oil and gas industry, in ensuring energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Presidents expressed their intention to expand the dialogue on issues such as off-shore hydrocarbon production, the development of hydrogen and nuclear energy.

The leaders noted the prospects for the development of the Russian-Brazilian technological alliance in such areas as nano- and biotechnology, artificial intelligence, information and communication technologies, health research and world ocean exploration. The Presidents expressed their willingness to encourage ties between universities, research institutions and start-ups of both countries.

The Presidents noted cooperation in outer space and the implementation of joint projects in satellite navigation and space debris monitoring, as well as reaffirmed their mutual interest in enhancing cooperation in other areas related to peaceful outer space activities.

The Heads of State discussed the prospects for strengthening military cooperation and bilateral exchanges. They took note of the first "two plus two" consultations at the level of foreign and defense ministers, which were held during the official visit of President Jair Bolsonaro to Moscow.

The leaders agree on the importance to bring closer together the peoples of Russia and Brazil, who appreciate each other's historical heritage. They discussed the initiatives to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Brazil's independence.

The sides expressed interest in enhancing student exchanges, cooperation in culture, sports, and tourism in order to promote people-to-people contacts and mutual knowledge. They noted that the Bolshoi Theatre School in Joinville (Brazil) has been working for 22 years.

President Jair Bolsonaro thanked President Vladimir Putin for the consistent support by the Russian side of Brazil as a strong and worthy candidate for a permanent seat in the reformed United Nations Security Council and the election of Brazil as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2022–2023.

The Presidents agreed to enhance coordination between Russia and Brazil regarding the agenda of the United Nations Security Council in order to contribute to countering the threats to international peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, reiterating their commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes.

The Heads of State expressed concern over the increased instability in various parts of the world and agreed that conflicts should be settled in a peaceful and diplomatic way in line with the norms of international law, including the United Nations Charter.

Having underlined the importance of BRICS as a forum of States committed to building a multipolar world order, the Presidents called for further strengthening of the BRICS strategic partnership and welcomed the progress in the development of the cooperation among the five countries in such areas as health care, trade, economy and finance, energy, science, technology and innovation, cultural and people-to-people contacts.

The Presidents noted the constructive nature of cooperation within the Group of Twenty aimed at promoting the shared interests of emerging economies and creating favourable conditions for steady and balanced international social and economic cooperation. In this context, they reaffirmed the role of the Group of Twenty as a leading forum for international economic cooperation.

The leaders underlined the importance of strengthening the World Trade Organization, enhancing its focus on expanding trade flows, increasing investments, and protecting free-market principles.

The Heads of State reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and highlighted the importance of balancing its environmental, social and economic components. The Presidents welcomed the statements of Russian and Brazilian representatives at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow and the adoption of the Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use, stressing that both countries have the largest forested areas in the world – the Brazilian Amazon and the Russian taiga. The Presidents share the view that it is important to launch a dialogue on forest protection with a view to increasing bilateral cooperation on sustainable development and combatting climate change.

The Heads of State re-emphasized the need for the use of outer space for peaceful purposes and ensuring sustainable space activities. The Presidents also reaffirmed the need for joint action to prevent an arms race in outer space.

They also stressed the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction as a pillar of the international security system. They noted the need to strengthen the Convention, including through the adoption of a legally binding protocol thereto.

The Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and stressed the importance of a prompt entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty as a key component of the nuclear non-proliferation and arms control regime.

The leaders also reiterated their support of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and their firm intention to encourage efforts and initiatives aimed to strengthen the Organization's authority and integrity of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.

The Presidents encourage the dialogue between the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and the Eurasian Economic Union.

President Jair Bolsonaro expressed gratitude for the hospitality shown by the Russian side during his stay in Moscow and invited President Vladimir Putin to visit Brazil. The invitation was gratefully accepted. The dates of the visit will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

See also

Talks with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro February 16, 2022

Russia is interested in Latin America's independence on world stage — Lavrov (Россия заинтересована в независимости Латинской Америки на мировой сцене) / Russia, February, 2022
Keywords: sergey_lavrov, quotation, political_issues

Moscow sees Brazil's central role in the development of that region, the Russian Foreign Minister also noted

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russia is interested in the independence of Latin America and the Caribbean on the international stage, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a meeting of the defense and foreign ministers of Russia and Brazil in the 'two plus two' format, that takes place in Moscow for the first time.

Moscow sees Brazil's central role in the development of that region, the top diplomat added. "We are interested in the independent role of Latin America and the Caribbean on the world stage, and we see a leading, central role that Brazil plays in ensuring the development of that major region of the world," Lavrov stressed.

Russia values cooperation with Brazil in various formats - regional, as well as within the framework of BRICS, the United Nations and G20.

Also on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds talks with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro.
Brazil's top diplomat hopes to reach new heights in ties with Moscow (Дипломат Бразилии надеется достичь новых высот в отношениях с Москвой) / Russia, February, 2022
Keywords: cooperation, quotation

Carlos Alberto Franca expressed hope that Russia and Brazil would continue joint work both in a bilateral format and within the framework of BRICS, the UN, and various international organizations

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Brazil is interested in bringing relations with Moscow to a new level, as it is especially important in the current challenging international situation, Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto Franca said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the "two plus two" meeting of Russian and Brazilian foreign and defense ministers, which is being held in Moscow for the first time, he said: "Thank you for the opportunity to be here in Russia. We are glad to use this opportunity to raise relations between our two countries to a new height, especially in the current international situation, this is especially important for our two countries. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to further strengthen our relations, respecting the sovereignty of each country, international law, norms of international law, and further develop our strategic cooperation, bringing it to a new stage."

The top diplomat also expressed hope that Russia and Brazil would continue joint work both in a bilateral format and within the framework of BRICS, the UN, and various international organizations.

World of Work
Noida International University Signs MoU with BRICS International Forum (Международный университет Нойды подписал меморандум о взаимопонимании с Международным форумом БРИКС) / India, February, 2022
Keywords: social_issues, concluded_agreements

Leading educational institute Noida International University has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with BRICS International Forum (BIF) to encourage research, academic exchanges in the field of science, technology, humanities, Medical, Paramedical, Health Sciences and Sports between the two organizations. The MoU was signed and exchanged in the presence of Prof. (Dr.) Parsanjeet Kumar Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) Jayanand, Registrar, Noida International University and Dr. V. I. Akinfiev Co-President, Ms. Purnima Anand, BRICS International Forum.

This MOU outlines the initiative for mutual cooperation between the two in recognizing the mutual interest in the fields of research, development, education, training, transfer of technology and dissemination of knowledge on long term non-commercial basis, and also in the importance of School of engineering, medical, Paramedical, Health Sciences, humanities, Legal Studies, Sciences, Nursing, sports and research education's role in promoting International collaboration and increased contribution of socio-economic development.

"Since higher education is what drives forward the development of a nation, it is envisioned that higher education institutes should cash in on each other's strengths through cooperation and capacity building. This association would help bring in joint research projects in fields of mutual interests and exchange of academic publications and reports. The new knowledge, ideas and approaches from the BRICS International Forum will also enable collective minds to further push the boundaries of knowledge and understanding. We are committed to providing the quality education to students through integrated multi-disciplinary approach and build future ready professional and this initiative is one of the steps in that direction. This is the beginning of an exciting journey and we look forward to many collaborative steps that will be taken," said Prof. (Dr.) Parsanjeet Kumar, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Noida International University.

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialized countries, but they are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs; all five are G-20 members. BIF was established to discuss the prospects of cooperation in the political, economic, humanitarian and cultural cooperation between the BRICS countries.
The "BRICS Top 100 Entrepreneurs International Award" Launches in Moscow (В Москве учреждена международная премия «100 лучших предпринимателей БРИКС».) / Russia, February, 2022
Keywords: rating

The first International Award "BRICS TOP 100 Entrepreneurs" was launched in Moscow as part of the Fourth Business Forum - Exhibition on Business with China CHINA BUSINESS FORUM. The initiators were Leaders of International Cooperation (Russia), All-China Youth Federation (China), public organization BRICS International Forum (India), National Youth Development Agency (South Africa), National Committee for BRICS Studies (Russia), Youth Association (Brazil).

Winners of the Award will be entrepreneurs up to 35 years old, who are citizens of the five countries and successfully develop business in the international arena. Boris Titov, the Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights of the Russian Federation, will be the international jury Chairman of the Award.

"The BRICS TOP 100 Entrepreneurs Award is a continuation of the many years of work we have been doing in the BRICS space. During this time dozens of joint projects have been developed and grown, and thousands of people from the BRICS countries have participated in business and educational programmes. Today we are moving on to the next stage, where we will work not with start-ups, but with existing businesses, assessing potential and helping them to scale. At present we have worked out a five year development plan for the Award and the next stage will be the creation of the BRICS Youth Business Council," said Tatiana Seliverstova, director of the Award.

CHINA BUSINESS FORUM is the largest business event uniting businessmen from Russia and China, organised by Synergy University and the multiservice SAAS platform Digital VED. Following the first day of the forum, a number of agreements have been signed, including a cooperation agreement between the BRICS Top 100 Entrepreneurs Award Directorate and the management of the Digital VED platform.

Thanks to the Award, a community of like-minded people will be created, which will be able to implement joint socio-economic projects. This is the request, these are objectives that the leaders of international cooperation of BRICS countries set for themselves when they established the BRICS Top 100 Entrepreneurs International Award in 2022.

"Business is always about creation, development and partnership. Business is about innovation, new technologies, social responsibility and charity. In today's geopolitical turbulence, when there are disagreements and opposing views on global processes, it is business that acts as the cementing compound that keeps states parity, methodically advocating cooperation, removal of restrictions, negotiations as opposed to sanctions," said Boris Titov, chairman of the international jury of the BRICS Top 100 Entrepreneurs Award.

The application deadline date is April 20, 2022. Award winners will be announced in May 2022 and the Award Ceremony to be held in July 2022.

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