Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 49.2021
2021.12.06 — 2021.12.12
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during a meeting with Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, New Delhi, December 6, 2021 (Вступительное слово Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации С.В.Лаврова в ходе встречи с Министром иностранных дел Республики Индии С.Джайшанкаром, Нью-Дели, 6 декабря 2021 года) / Russia, December, 2021
Keywords: Sergey_Lavrov, speech

Mr Minister,

My dear friend,

I would like to express my support for what you have just said about the quality of our relations. In his remarks at the recent expanded meeting of the Foreign Ministry Collegium, President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the priority importance of the privileged strategic partnership with our Indian friends for our two countries.

Today, the season of active political dialogue has resumed following a pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Contacts are being revived. You and I were the trailblazers, meeting three times this year. Today is our fourth contact.

Recently, the security council secretaries of our countries held a meeting. Earlier today, there was a meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation with the participation of our military colleagues. Our conversation today is to be followed by a 2+2 meeting.

This marathon of negotiations will be rounded off with a summit. I am confident that it will be a significant event in Russian-Indian relations. A package of important documents has been prepared. We will do all we can to implement the decisions to be approved by our leaders today in a precise and timely manner.

Thank you for your hospitality.

Putin-Modi talks lasted for 3.5 hours (Переговоры Путина и Моди продлились 3,5 часа) / Russia, December, 2021
Keywords: vladimir_putin, top_level_meeting

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, including joint efforts within the G20, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the struggle with terrorism and Afghanistan

The two men discussed bilateral relations, including joint efforts within the G20, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the struggle with terrorism and Afghanistan.

Before the meeting, Putin said that Russia saw India as a great power with a friendly people and thanked Modi for his invitation. The Russian president spoke highly of bilateral cooperation in the economy, investment, energy, high, technology, space and other spheres. Putin stressed Russia's intention to develop military cooperation with India.

For his part, Modi said that the pandemic had failed to slow down the pace of bilateral relations. He spoke highly of the efforts being exerted by Russia and India to resist the coronavirus infection, be it the testing of vaccines, their production or humanitarian assistance.

It was the first Putin-Modi meeting since 2019. The previous one took place in September 2019 when the Indian prime minister visited Vladivostok. A short while later, in November 2019 the two leaders met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brasilia.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's opening remarks during the 2+2 talks between Russian and Indian foreign and defence ministers, New Delhi, December 6, 2021 (Вступительное слово Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации С.В.Лаврова в ходе переговоров глав внешнеполитических и оборонных ведомств России и Индии в формате «два плюс два», Нью-Дели, 6 декабря 2021 года) / Russia, December, 2021
Keywords: Sergey_Lavrov, speech


I am genuinely pleased to be taking part in the first ever 2+2 meeting between Russian and Indian foreign and defence ministers. This initiative was approved by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

I am confident that this new format will become an effective dialogue platform for discussing a wide range of regional and international issues, and that it will help our countries to further deepen their long-established mutual understanding and strengthen their special and privileged strategic partnership.

Russia and India have similar visions of the model of a more just, democratic and polycentric world order. They promote identical or very similar views on the most vital issues of peace and security. They advocate compliance with international law and strengthening the collective principles of communication between states. They adhere to the principles of non-interference in domestic affairs of sovereign states and respecting the great diversity of cultures and civilisations in the world.

This commonality serves as a solid foundation for the productive work within this new format of the Russia-India dialogue. I would also like to thank our Indian friends for hospitality and hosting these talks.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at the news conference following Russia-India foreign and defence minister talks in the two-plus-two format, New Delhi, December 6, 2021 (Выступление и ответы на вопросы СМИ Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации в ходе пресс-конференции по итогам переговоров глав внешнеполитических и оборонных ведомств России и Индии в формате «два плюс два», Нью-Дели, 6 декабря 2021 года) / Russia, December, 2021
Keywords: Sergey_Lavrov, speech

We completed the first part of our preparations for President of Russia Vladimir Putin's visit to India and his talks with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

I had a bilateral meeting with my Indian colleague, Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. We discussed the main items on our agenda: the economy, hydrocarbons and energy, including nuclear power. We have promising and specific plans. We talked about holding a regular meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation. Mr Jaishankar co-chairs this together with Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov. We discussed education and scientific exchanges and cultural ties. We have a fairly busy agenda.

A meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation took place in parallel with our talks. The participants held a useful, detailed discussion, and it will continue tomorrow. We talked about holding this meeting in the two-plus-two format; President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi had decided that the foreign and defence ministers of Russia and India should start and continue work in this format. In our common opinion, this initiative fully justifies itself. The participants had useful, meaningful discussions on various issues.

We focused on the situation in the Asia-Pacific Region. In the last few years elements of instability have increased which can undermine the universal, inclusive character of cooperation that was taking shape around ASEAN. We expressed our serious concern about US activities under the slogan of Indo-Pacific strategies. They are creating exclusive membership blocs there. The latest example is AUKUS, a military-technological alliance of the United States, Britain and Australia. There are many questions at this point, in part, in the context of plans to organise the production of nuclear-powered submarines with a nuclear plant in Australia or export them to that country. How does this conform to the standards of the IAEA and the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty? In a more specific, regional context there is reason to wonder about the extent to which Australia would honour its commitments on a nuclear weapons-free zone in the South Pacific (1985 Rarotonga Treaty) if these plans materialised. The ASEAN countries announced another nuclear weapons free zone in the region (1997 Bangkok Treaty). It is necessary to find out how these efforts and commitments will correlate if the plans to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines come to fruition.

In connection with the situation in the APR, we covered other fast-developing associations (besides ASEAN), primarily the SCO, which has partnered with ASEAN and the EAEU. The prospects are good. We share its positive assessment to the effect that the SCO will continue to reinforce its status and increasingly play the role of a centre of cooperation. At the most recent SCO summit in Dushanbe in September, the process for the further expansion of the organisation was launched when Iran was invited to join as a full member. The SCO deals with issues of sustainable economic development and security. We highly appreciated India's participation in the SCO anti-terrorist exercises Peace Mission 2021.

We talked about the Russia-India-China (RIC) consultation mechanism. Recently, the troika held a regular meeting via videoconference and approved a detailed document that was circulated at the UN.

BRICS is a broader group of states in which our partners from South Africa and Brazil interact with Russia, India and China. This format can also have a stabilising effect on this geopolitical space.

Afghanistan and Central Asia were discussed separately. We share a position with our Indian colleagues whereby the Taliban must keep its promise to ensure the inclusive ethnic and political nature of the new authority and to respect human rights, as well as to eradicate the terrorist and drug threat in Afghanistan and to prevent the spillover of instability to neighbouring countries. The Central Asian countries are our prime concern. Once again, we clearly reaffirmed the position that President Vladimir Putin has stated more than once: we are strongly against the attempts by the United States and other NATO countries to relocate some of their military infrastructure and armed forces, which hastily ended their mission in Afghanistan without fulfilling any goals (which they set for themselves), to neighbouring countries. Our Central Asian allies and partners have said this is unacceptable. By the same token, they do not find suitable the attempts to push refugees out of Afghanistan and channel these flows to the Central Asian region. We agreed to closely coordinate our actions on these matters, including as part of the SCO.

Along with other countries, Russia and India can promote the cause through participation in international efforts to help stabilise the situation in that country. I shared information about the expanded troika's activities (Russia-China-US plus Pakistan). Russia believes there are reasons to engage India and Iran in these activities.

The Moscow format is a broader-format association which includes the above countries, all of Afghanistan's neighbours and our Central Asian partners and allies. This format will remain in place.

Other topics that we covered included the Middle East and North Africa with a focus on Syria. Like us, India had ongoing economic and investment projects in Syria. India has never closed its embassy and maintains contact with Bashar al-Assad's legitimate government. We addressed ways to assist in tackling Syria's socioeconomic problems that have worsened under the illegal sanctions. We covered the Astana format and its contribution to the advancement of the constitutional process as part of the Geneva Meetings. We announced that the Astana troika would meet again in Nur-Sultan in December and would be joined by observers from the Arab countries.

Upon request, we shared our views on strategic stability and remaining problems, especially in light of the fact that most of the arms control treaties (with the exception of the START Treaty) have been discarded. We shared our progress in the strategic dialogue with the United States on these matters.

These are the main results of today's meetings. We will report to President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that their initiative has proved its value. We believe this should be a regular event. We invited our Indian colleagues to pay a return visit in the two-plus-two format to Moscow or any other Russian region in the first half of 2022.

Question: You mentioned the AUKUS trilateral association and the US Indo-Pacific concept. Judging by everything we see, Russia views these two associations as a threat. Do your Indian partners share this assessment? How does Russia plan to neutralise these threats?

Sergey Lavrov: Our Indian partners have clearly disassociated themselves from the military-technological bloc AUGUS. They take part in the QUAD (India-Japan-Australia-US) and are emphasising in every possible way their interest in its economic, transport and infrastructure projects.

I believe that this is how India largely explains why the military component of US strategies was moved to the AUKUS format (now they will try to expand it; statements have been made on Japan and South Korea joining). I have serious doubts that this will promote peace and stability. Threats are arising. I mentioned the risks created for the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime. When I talked with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial meeting in Stockholm, the Americans promised to explain in detail how AUKUS participants would observe the norms of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. We have identical positions with our Indian colleagues in this respect. We will do everything we can to prevent the plans of Indo-Pacific strategies, AUKUS and other closed (bloc) formats from trying to prevail over ASEAN and ASEAN-centric structures that have been established over the past few decades. This includes the ASEAN regional security forum – meetings between the defence ministers of the ASEAN countries and their partners' counterparts. This structure is crowned with an important form of cooperation – the East Asia summit. Attempts to change the rules established in all these formats are already being made. We agreed with our Indian colleagues to support what has already been built. We will support the ASEAN-centric format of security and cooperation in the region, which suits all countries without exception.

Question: Did you discuss Sputnik V vaccine production in India at these talks? It was reported earlier that Sputnik Light production will be launched in India in December of this year. Will these plans be carried out and what amount is at stake?

Sergey Lavrov: The talks on Sputnik Light are nearing completion. We reached agreement on developing production here and this is already being implemented. The scale of production will be substantial – several hundred million doses per year.

Question: You said earlier that Russia is interested in talks on a free trade zone between India and the Eurasian Economic Commission as soon as possible. What progress has been made on this?

Sergey Lavrov: Any partner interested in this is invited to preliminary consultations. This is a rather lengthy, specific, expert and to some extent technical process. This has already been completed with India and we are announcing it at the talks. Everything is fully prepared for the beginning of talks on a free trade zone. I believe we will hold them in early 2022 if the COVID problem doesn't prevent it.

Question (retranslated from English): My question is about Russia-India military cooperation. What do you think about the symbolic significance of the S-400 deal and the prospects for similar deals in the future?

Sergey Lavrov: The S-400 deal is not merely symbolic. It is of vast practical importance for India's defence capability. This deal is underway. We are seeing America's attempts to undermine this cooperation and compel India to follow US orders, in line with US views on the development of the region. But our Indian friends have explained in no uncertain terms that India is a sovereign country and will decide itself what weapons to buy and who its partners will be in this and other areas. Earlier it was also reaffirmed that Russia-India relations retain their privileged strategic partnership status. The meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation has made it clear and confirmed that this cooperation meets the interests of both states.

On the Eve of the Summit: A Letter to Our Indian Friends (Накануне саммита: письмо нашим индийским друзьям) / Russia, December, 2021
Keywords: expert_opinion

As President Vladimir Putin is set to visit India for a bilateral summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is important for both countries to have a frank dialogue on foreign policy priorities, share concerns and clear misunderstandings, writes Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council.

Dear colleagues, partners and friends!

Today, New Delhi is gearing up to receive Vladimir Putin. This visit might not have been so remarkable if not for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Since February last year, the Russian leader has clearly sought to minimise his foreign travel. Not so long ago, he refused to participate in person at the G20 summit in Rome and at the environmental summit in Glasgow. This year, as you know, Vladimir Putin did not go abroad at all, except for a June visit to Geneva, where he met with American President Joe Biden. Even in China, where the Russian leader had previously visited with enviable regularity, he was last seen in April 2019.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the President of Russia has made an exception for India. And this conveys the importance that Moscow attaches to bilateral cooperation with the leading power of the South Asian subcontinent. Perhaps this also shows the concern that the Russian side feels about the prospects for our bilateral cooperation in a rapidly changing geopolitical environment. Vladimir Putin is probably also concerned about the many conflicts and crises that are breaking out with frightening regularity in various corners of Asia—from the India China clashes in the Himalayas and the civil confrontation in Myanmar to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and chronic instability in the long-suffering Middle East region.

Altogether, as we are well aware, Vladimir Putin has a lot to talk about with Narendra Modi. While not anticipating the course of the upcoming Russian-Indian official negotiations in any way, I will take it upon myself to give some advice to our Indian friends in the expert community on how to help the Indian leadership build relations with current Russia.

Let's start with what you already know perfectly well: India has always been loved in Russia and is still loved. The positive attitude of the Russian society towards India is deep and stable; it does not depend much on fluctuations in the political conjuncture or, say, on the dynamics of bilateral trade. For almost three-quarters of a century of cooperation between the leaders of the two countries, there have never been any sharp disagreements on the important issues of international affairs. The Russian-Indian interaction was not overshadowed by mutual fears, distrust and suspicions, which are a common part of the relations between great powers.

Indian culture, philosophy and art have for a long time possessed an exceptionally powerful force of attraction for the Russian intelligentsia; this force of attraction has not weakened for many decades.

However, you should also know that back in Russia, India is very often perceived not as it is today, but as it was in the past—in the days of Indira Gandhi and Raj Kapoor, or even in the era of Rabindranath Tagore. 'Indian exoticism' in the Russian consciousness still often obscures the latest achievements of Indian science and technology, economics and innovation, which are still little known to Russians. Therefore, one of our main common tasks is a kind of rebranding of India's image in Russia, positioning India as a country of the 21st century, as a civilisation fully aspiring to the future, even if based on the unshakable foundation of the past, as a territory of not just wonderful traditions, but also of endless opportunities.

You are much more aware than I am of how envious India is of the rapid development of Russian-Chinese relations. It is well known that Beijing is significantly ahead of New Delhi in terms of the scale of trade with Russia, the number of joint military exercises, and the number of high level meetings. Given the existence of a whole set of serious problems in India China relations, India's concern about the prospects for the formation of a Russian Chinese military-political alliance is quite understandable.

However, you and I are well aware that Russia has never supported and will not support China in its confrontation with India. By the way, this is perfectly under stood not only in Moscow, but also in Beijing because China has never demanded that Russia drop its military-technical partnership with India. Moreover, the faster the proximity between Russia and China grows, the more importance Moscow would give to New Delhi as a natural balancer for its increasing dependence on China. It is no coincidence that in the recently adopted new National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, India was put on par with China.

It is also obvious that Russia, unlike some other countries, is in no way interested in aggravating strained relations between Beijing and New Delhi and is in no way benefitting from a military confrontation between its two main partners in Asia. On the contrary, Moscow is ready to use all the mechanisms at its disposal, including BRICS, SCO and the trilateral format of the RIC, in order to facilitate if not a resolution, but at least mitigation of the Indian-Chinese dichotomies. I feel the Indian expert community could have put more effort into explaining a simple truth to the Indian society: it would hardly be reasonable to challenge Moscow to choose between New Delhi and Beijing—Russia's foreign policy approaches to China and India do not contrast, but naturally complement each other.

From time to time, there is an acute irritation in India's intellectual and especially journalistic circles regarding the emerging Russia-Pakistan relations. We have to sometimes even hear that Moscow has allegedly taken a position of some kind of 'equidistance' towards New Delhi and Islamabad in recent years. Or that Russian diplomacy is, allegedly, skilfully and cynically playing the 'Pakistani card' to get some concessions from its Indian partners.

However, genuine experts on Indian Russian relations have to be clear that such ideas have no valid grounds. Relations with Pakistan are important for Russia, but they are largely situational. Today, the significance of Pakistan is increasing not just for Moscow, and that is due to the change of power in Afghanistan and the influence that Islamabad has on the Taliban movement. Turning a blind eye to this new reality, from Moscow's point of view, would be a political error.

But an attempt to equalise India and Pakistan in the system of their foreign policy priorities would be an even bigger mistake for Russian diplomacy. And not only because India is much bigger, richer and more influential than Pakistan. But also for the fact that relations between Moscow and New Delhi are not tactical or situational, but represent a special privileged strategic partnership that has evolved over more than seven decades of Indian independence. Perhaps, in some cases, Moscow underestimated the sensitivity of the Pakistan issue for New Delhi, and we should have a frank and thorough conversation about such cases. But such an underestimation or misunderstanding should not be considered an indicator of Moscow's readiness to revise Russia's strategic priorities in Asia.

There is another important issue to which I would like to draw your attention. Moscow and New Delhi clearly have different views on the now fashionable concept of the Indo-Pacific. In Russia, the concept is seen as a result of American masterminding aimed primarily against Beijing and also against Moscow. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the United States, India, Australia and Japan (Quad) is seen by Russia in approximately the same light, and it is sometimes even perceived as taking the contours of a new Asian analogue of NATO. In India, for its part, it is rightly noted that in fact, the concept of Indo-Pacific was invented not in Washington, but in Tokyo and in New Delhi and that for India, the concept of combining two oceans into a single maritime region serves as a basis for expanding its presence and influence east of the Strait of Malacca.

Indian experts also argue that under no circumstances will Quad become a military political alliance, since India values its independence in its foreign policy greatly and is not ready to adapt to the foreign policy priorities of another country, even those of the United States.

This discrepancy just means that we, at the Track Two diplomacy level, should make additional efforts to dispel the doubts of Russian leaders about Indo-Pacific and Quad. Moreover, under certain circumstances, India could help Russia acclimatise to the Indian Ocean waters. And although Russia-US relations, much like India-China ones, follow their own logic and have their own dynamics, India could contribute to a more productive dialogue between Moscow and Washington—just as Russia could facilitate, in someway, in the dialogue between New Delhi and Beijing. Probably, all these issues could become the subject of expert discussion between our countries in the very near future.

To conclude this somewhat prolonged message, I will allow myself a trivial statement: we need to communicate more. Not in the format of 'mutual admiration' familiar to most Russian-Indian conferences and seminars, but in the format of a sober, frank dialogue which may not always be easy. It is not less important for an expert conversation to point out disagreements and divergences of interests between the two countries than to articulate common positions and overlapping interests. Focusing on the challenges of the future is no less valuable for our communication than attention to the achievements of the past. It is equally important for the Russian and Indian expert communities to have creativity and the ability to think globally as well as maintain a high level of country studies.

Only if these aspects are combined holistically will the Russian-Indian expert dialogue become significant support for Track One diplomacy.

With unwavering respect and best wishes for success,

Andrey Kortunov.

First published in the Russia Digest.

Opening Remarks by External Affairs Minister at his meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister (Вступительное слово Министра иностранных дел на встрече с Министром иностранных дел России) / India, December, 2021
Keywords: speech, top_level_meeting

First of all let me extend a very warm welcome to you and your delegation. And it is really a great pleasure, this, I think is our fourth meeting this year.

And the fact that we do keep in touch and we meet regularly itself is symbolic of the special and privileged strategic partnership that we have established between our countries.

We had last met in Nur-Sultan on the the sidelines of the CICA Ministerial Conference. And I think, today we have an opportunity not only to discuss our bilateral ties and the global situation but also we will be participating in the first 2+2 meeting and of course later in the evening, we will be joining our leaders for the Annual Summit. For us the Annual Summit of course is a very unique event.

Prime Minister Modi and President Putin share a relationship of great trust and confidence. Annual Summit is taking place after a gap of two years because of the Covid. So we are looking forward to some very significant outcomes from the Summit.

Our partnership is indeed very special, it is very unique. And we are very conscious that in a world of rapid geo-political changes it has in fact been remarkably steady and strong. And I would also like to take the opportunity to underline that we are very satisfied with our bilateral relations and state of our cooperation.

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, our Prime Minister Modi and President Putin have held 2 conversations this year, they have taken part in the Virtual Summits of the BRICS and the SCO. And we have had also some exchanges of physical visits. The Secretary of your Security Council was here, our Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas had visited Russia, the Minister of Steel had been there. And these have all been very very productive. So I welcome you once again and I am very very confident that our discussions today would be very fruitful, very productive and that we will be contributing to the outcomes in the Summit.
21st India – Russia Annual Summit (21-й ежегодный саммит Индия - Россия) / India, December, 2021
Keywords: top_level_meeting

President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, paid a working visit to New Delhi on 06 December 2021 for the 21st India – Russia Annual summit with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

2. President Putin was accompanied by a high level delegation. Bilateral talks between Prime Minister Modi and President Putin were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the sustained progress in the 'Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership' between both countries despite the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. They welcomed the holding of the first meeting of the 2+2 Dialogue of Foreign and Defence Ministers and the meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Military & Military-Technical Cooperation in New Delhi on 6 December 2021.

3. The leaders underscored the need for greater economic cooperation and in this context, emphasized on new drivers of growth for long term predictable and sustained economic cooperation. They appreciated the success story of mutual investments and looked forward to greater investments in each others' countries. The role of connectivity through the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the proposed Chennai - Vladivostok Eastern Maritime Corridor figured in the discussions. The two leaders looked forward to greater inter-regional cooperation between various regions of Russia, in particular with the Russian Far-East, with the States of India. They appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the fight against the Covid pandemic, including humanitarian assistance extended by both countries to each other in critical times of need.

4. The leaders discussed regional and global developments, including the post-pandemic global economic recovery, and the situation in Afghanistan. They agreed that both countries share common perspectives and concerns on Afghanistan and appreciated the bilateral roadmap charted out at the NSA level for consultation and cooperation on Afghanistan. They noted that both sides shared common positions on many international issues and agreed to further strengthen cooperation at multilateral fora, including at the UN Security Council. President Putin congratulated Prime Minister Modi for India's ongoing non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and successful Presidency of BRICS in 2021. Prime Minister Modi congratulated Russia for its ongoing chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

5. The Joint Statement titled India-Russia: Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity aptly covers the state and prospects of bilateral ties. Coinciding with the visit, several Government-to-Government Agreements and MoUs, as well as those between commercial and other organizations of both countries, were signed in different sectors such as trade, energy, science & technology, intellectual property, outer space, geological exploration, cultural exchange, education, etc. This is a reflection of the multifaceted nature of our bilateral partnership.

6. President Putin extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Russia for the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit in 2022.
6th BRICS Foreign Policy Planning Dialogue (December 10, 2021) (Шестой диалог БРИКС по внешнеполитическому планированию (10 декабря 2021 г.)) / India, December, 2021
Keywords: top_level_meeting, cooperation

The 6th BRICS Foreign Policy Planning Dialogue was successfully held under the BRICS 2021 Chairship of India, in a virtual format, on December 10, 2021. The dialogue was presided over by the Director, Policy Planning Division, MEA and witnessed the participation of the heads of Foreign Policy Planning Units of BRICS countries.

There were fruitful exchanges on key trends transforming the global landscape and its repercussions, reform of the multilateral system and on other key matters, going beyond immediate issues of quotidian diplomacy.

The Dialogue also provided an opportunity for the BRICS members to share among themselves the best practices adopted in their respective Foreign Policy Planning Units.
Political Events
Political events in the public life of BRICS
Putin appoints Russian representatives in BRICS Business Council (Путин назначил представителей России в Деловом совете БРИКС) / Russia, December, 2021
Keywords: business_council

The council's representatives from Russia will be Head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergey Katyrin, Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov, RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev, Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov and VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order on the appointment of the country's representatives in the BRICS Business Council in 2022-2024. The document was posted on Wednesday on Russia's official web portal of legal information.

The council's representatives from Russia will be Head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergey Katyrin (leader of the Russian part of the Business Council), Russian Railways CEO Oleg Belozerov, RDIF chief Kirill Dmitriev, Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov and VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov. The composition remains the same as in 2019-2021.

The BRICS Business Council was established in 2013. Its activity focuses on creating a platform to discuss issues of the strengthening and promotion of economic, trade, business and investment ties among business communities of participating countries and supporting dialogue between the business community and government officials.

World of Work
Results of the V BRICS International School (Итоги V Международной школы БРИКС) / Russia, December, 2021
Keywords: social_issues, cooperation

V BRICS International School was organized by the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research from November 29 to December 3, 2021 in online format.

BRICS International School is a unique scientific and educational programme aimed at training young experts specializing in BRICS studies in political, economic, humanitarian fields and other relevant areas of interaction within the five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The programme is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Due to the epidemiological situation in the world, V BRICS International School was held online.

Young scientists and diplomats, journalists, entrepreneurs, Bachelor's and Master's students as well as post-graduates, aged from 18 to 35, were invited to take part in this programme. On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the programme 200 representatives from 22 countries (Russia, Brazil, India, China, South Africa, as well as Armenia, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Zimbabwe) were selected to join programme.

Participants were offered a range of specially developed comprehensive course by top Russian and international experts and practitioners, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, ministries and agencies, think tanks with considerable experience in BRICS research. The programme allowed participants to broaden their professional horizons, develop communication skills, and study specifics of cooperation among the BRICS countries – their positions on the global arena, prospects of institutionalization of the BRICS format, goals and priorities of the grouping for the future.

Upon tradition H.E. Sergey RYABKOV, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Russian Sherpa in BRICS delivered a speech on the theme "Role of BRICS Countries in the Global Coordinate System: The Era of Change" and answered to the questions of the participants on burning issues of international agenda. Video

Opening Ceremony and Plenary Discussion was devoted to the theme "The End of Globalization? Challenges and Opportunities for Future Generations". Session was moderated by Prof. Georgy TOLORAYA, Deputy Chair of the Board, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research. Speakers at the session: Dr. Vyacheslav NIKONOV, Chair of the Board, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research; First Deputy Chair, State Duma Committee on International Affairs; Dr. Andrey KORTUNOV, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council; Dr. Dmitry RAZUMOVSKIY, Director, Institute for Latin American Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Dr. Dmitry POLIKANOV, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo); Dr. Victoria PANOVA, Vice President for International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University, Russian W20 Sherpa; Dr. Andrey BAYKOV, Vice-Rector for Science and Research, MGIMO-University; Dr. Andrzej HABARTA, Editor-in-Chief, Cuadernos Iberoamericanos.

Expert Discussion on the theme "Public Diplomacy in the Era of COVID-19" was moderated by Mr. Evgeny ZYRYANOV, Leading Specialist, Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund. Speakers at the session: Dr. Natalia BURLINOVA, Founder and President, Creative diplomacy; Ms. Purnima ANAND, President, BRICS International Forum, India; Dr. Anna KURUMCHINA, Director General, Agency of Cultural and Scientific Diplomacy.

Expert Discussion on the theme "BRICS: Measuring International Stability and Security" was moderated by Prof. Georgy TOLORAYA, Deputy Chair of the Board, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research. Speakers at the session: Mr. Georgy MIKHNO, Deputy Director, Department on New Challenges and Threats, Russian Foreign Ministry; Dr. Vladimir ORLOV, Founder and Director, PIR Center; Dr. Ana GARCIA, Director, BRICS Policy Center, Brazil; Dr. Timofei BORDACHEV, Academic Supervisor, Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Expert Discussion on the theme "Challenges to BRICS Economic Development" was moderated by Dr. Nataliya ZAISER, Chair and Founder, Africa Business Initiative Union. Speakers at the session: Ms. Evgeniia DROZHASHCHIKH, Head of Asia Pacific Division, Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Ministry of Economic Development of Russia; Prof. Yaroslav LISSOVOLIK, Senior Managing Director — Head of Research, Sberbank Investment Research; Prof. Irina YARYGINA, Scientific Director, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research; Mr. Flavio Lyrio CARNEIRO, Researcher, Assistant Coordinator of the Masters In Public Policy and Development Programme, International Studies Division, Institute of Applied Economic Research, Brazil; Dr. Sabyasachi SAHA, Associate Professor, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, India.

Presentation of Best Practices on Youth Cooperation "The Role of Youth in Enhancing International Cooperation: Best practices within BRICS" was moderated by Ms. Valeriia GORBACHEVA, GR-Director, Russian National Committee on BRICS Research. Speakers at the session: Ms. Diana KOVELA, Member, Project Office of International Youth Cooperation "Russia - BRICS"; Mr. Alexey EZHOV, Chairman, Leaders of International Cooperation; Dr. Roman CHUKOV, Chairman, Russian Centre for Promotion of International Initiatives; Mr. Vadim KUZNETSOV, Director of Sustainability and Climate, BRICS Youth Energy Agency; Dr. Alina SHCHERBAKOVA, Head, Ibero-American Department, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Dr. Raymond MATLALA, Founder and Chairman, South African BRICS Youth Association, South Africa; Mr. Vasily BALASHOV, Project Manager, Centre for Youth Initiatives, Agency for Strategic Initiatives; Mr. Akil MOHAMMAD, Founder, International Youth Edu Skills Foundation, India; Mr. Valdir BEZERRA, Member, Center for BRICS Studies, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Expert Discussion on the theme "Innovations and Digital Technologies in BRICS Countries" was moderated by Dr. Ivan DANILIN, Head, Department of Innovation Policy, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences. Speakers at the session: Dr. SHEN Yi, Director, Center for BRICS Studies, Fudan Development Institute, Fudan University, China; Prof. Daya THUSSU, Professor of International Communication Department of Journalism, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University, India; Dr. Luca BELLI, Director, CyberBRICS, Brazil; Dr. Lydia KULIK, Head, India Studies, Institute for Emerging Markets Studies, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO; Dr. Evgeniy TONKIKH, Deputy Head, Department of international cooperation, Radio Research and Development Institute

Master Class on the theme "Building Cross-Cultural Awareness in a Modern Business Context" was held by Ms. Marina BELOUSOVA, Sales Director, Certified Business Trainer, MBA.

Plenary Discussion on the theme "Women's Leadership in BRICS" was moderated by Dr. Victoria PANOVA, Vice President for International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University, Russian W20 Sherpa. Speakers at the session: Ms. Pam RAJPUT, one of the Founder Members, BRICS Feminist Watch; Indian W20 Sherpa, India; Ms. Maria AFONINA, Vice-Rector for Educational Activities, Senezh Management Workshop, Russia – Land of Opportunity; Dr. Sarah MOSOETSA, Chief Executive Officer, National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, South Africa.

Expert Discussion on the theme "Sustainable Development in BRICS countries" was moderated by Prof. Leonid GRIGORYEV, Chief Advisor to the Head, Analytical Centre under the Government of Russia; Tenured Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Speakers at the session: Dr. Karin Costa VAZQUEZ, Executive Director, Centre for African Latin American and Caribbean Studies, O. P. Jindal Global University, Brazil/India; Dr. Liliana PROSKURYAKOVA, Deputy Head, Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, International Research and Educational Foresight Centre, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Ms. Arina MURESAN, Researcher, Institute for Global Dialogue, South Africa; Dr. Alexandra MOROZKINA, Head of the Structural Reforms Division, Economic Expert Group.
Made on