First BRICS Meeting of 2019: A Summary

Brazilian, Russian, Indian, Chinese and South African officials met in Curitiba to discuss their diplomatic missions for 2019

March 19th, 2019
Lance Bradley, News from Berlin
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Brazil’s New President Jair Bolsonaro hosts his BRICS counterparts in Curitiba for the 11th BRICS summit.

Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met in Curitiba, Brazil on March 14th and 15th to discuss plans for their individual countries and collective plans for 2019.

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, as this year’s leader and host for BRICS, emphasized that innovation and technological cooperation are Brazil’s primary concerns for the upcoming years. The Chinese delegation showed their support for the Brazil’s ambitions regarding technological advancements and cooperation but stressed their interests in not politicizing technology. China also expressed their goal of expanding the BRICS groups, naming countries such as Argentina, Turkey and Mexico – all of which were invited as observers at the 11th BRICS summit and have previously made their intent of joining BRICS clear.

India’s Minister of Economy Tirumurti led the Indian delegation at this year’s summit. Tirumurti expressed the need to combat terrorism and mentioned his hopes of multilateral cooperation regarding this pressing issue – something that Brazil is also in favor of. Although counter-terrorism policies were high on India’s list of discussion topics, their delegation also discussed plans to improve health and traditional medicine as a primary ambition for 2019.

One of the main goals of the Russian delegation was to determine the cooperation possibilities with Brazil’s new controversial President, Jair Bolsonaro. The Russian delegation concluded that Bolsonaro will not have a negative impact on BRICS and plans to continue and attentively observe Brazil as the new government determines its place on the world stage. 

Although not an official topic of discussion, the five BRICS nations were forced to discuss the worsening situation in Venezuela. Brazil has expressed its strong support for the self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó whilst Russia and China continue to recognize Maduro as the legitimate head of state. Brazil plans to increase sanctions against Venezuela and made an attempt to convince South Africa and India to do the same. Although this topic is disputed, all of the delegations present discussed the topic peacefully and hope to reach an agreement as a turning point and true act of diplomacy.

In November 2019 there will be a follow-up BRICS Meeting in Brazil’s capital of Brasília and next year’s meetings will be hosted by Vladimir Putin in Chelyabinsk, Russia.


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