Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum

Monitoring of the economic, social and labor situation in the BRICS countries
Issue 18.2023
2023.05.01 — 2023.05.07
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's talks with Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Пресс-релиз о переговорах Министра иностранных дел С.В.Лаврова с Министром иностранных дел Республики Индия Субраманьямом Джайшанкаром) / Russia, May, 2023
Keywords: sergey_lavrov, mofa foreign_ministers_meeting

On May 4, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as part of his visit to Goa, India, to participate in a meeting of the SCO foreign ministers.

The ministers exchanged views on the main issues of bilateral relations, including the schedule of upcoming contacts, as well as current issues on the global and regional agenda. The ministers praised the dynamics of cooperation in key areas of the specially privileged strategic partnership between our countries.

The parties reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening coordination activities to develop common approaches as part of interaction at the most important international platforms, including the SCO, BRICS, the UN and the G20.

The ministers agreed to continue down the path of building a fair multipolar system of interstate relations.
                Egypt on the way to BRICS membership (Египет на пути к членству в БРИКС) / Russia, May, 2023
                Keywords: brics+

                The issue of Egypt's membership in the BRICS is an important and urgent matter, writes Cairo newspaper "Al-Masry Al-Youm".

                BRICS is a group created in 2009 that includes China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa. The BRICS countries represent 42% of the world's population, 24% of global GDP. They account for 16% of world exports and 15% of world imports of goods and services.

                The BRICS group is not an official organization, but the leaders of its five countries meet annually to deepen and strengthen cooperation between it.

                South Africa plans to hold the next summit in Durban at the end of August.

                Talk of Egypt's BRICS membership is not new, and a reader of former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheith's book 'My Certificates' finds the roots of this aspiration as part of the expansion of Egypt's advancement in the world.

                However, there has always been a question about the advisability of Egypt joining this group. There are those who are skeptical and believe that the BRICS 'has not achieved much since its inception,' that it is 'just a framework for coordination, and not an economic bloc' or an international organization 'in the full sense of the word,' and that some of its countries are 'going through difficult circumstances,' or there is a 'certain tension or heterogeneity between them.'

                They point out that 'Russia is preoccupied and exhausted by the war in Ukraine,' that the 'Chinese economy is still suffering from problems after the coronavirus pandemic,' while the 'economies of Brazil and South Africa are experiencing a recession' and their preoccupation with domestic problems. In addition to border tensions between India and China, there is 'India's vision of relations with the West,' which may differ from both China's and Russia's.

                My point is that, despite the validity of some of the previous assumptions, the BRICS group has recently undergone a huge transformation, whether on the institutional side or the policy of cooperation.

                And that the expansion of BRICS to BRICS+ will in the near future be one of the main gatherings that will contribute to laying the foundations for a new global economic order, the forerunners of which have already begun to take shape, and the consequences of new international balance sheets.

                Therefore, the issue of Egypt's membership in the BRICS is an important and urgent matter. As for the new transformations that are the catalyst for Egypt's interest in joining the BRICS, the most important of these is that the BRICS countries, such as China and Russia, seek to create a certain degree of pluralism in the global economic system.

                At the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa, the issue of the new composition of the group will be considered. Now, as reported in the press, 19 countries to join. According to the South African delegate in the group, 13 countries have already officially applied for membership, and 6 more countries have expressed their intentions. He added: "We receive requests to join every day."

                Some of these countries belong to our Arab world, for example, Saudi Arabia and Algeria; there is Iran from the Middle East. Other most important countries are Argentina and Mexico.

                The upcoming BRICS summit will consider using a common currency for their trade exchanges so that the US dollar does not remain the only monopoly in this matter. The BRICS countries also encourage transactions between themselves in local currencies and have already begun to do so.

                It is worth noting that in 2014 the BRICS countries established the New Development Bank (NDB) with an initial capital of $50 billion, and some see it as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The BRICS New Development Bank, as well as the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), represent important steps in offering new development alternatives.

                Although Egypt has already joined two banks and participated in previous BRICS meetings in the so-called "BRICS+", membership in the group will open up new horizons for it in terms of both trade and investment with the BRICS countries.

                Finally, Egypt's desire to join the BRICS does not mean that it refuses to cooperate with its Western friends or with other financial and monetary institutions.

                However, the global system is rapidly moving towards pluralism, putting an end to the monopoly of one country, bloc or currency in international agreements and transactions. It is important for Egypt to be part of this trend, and as part of the expansion of its movement in the world and the alternatives available to it.

                              Why Africa is central to BRICS global mission? (Почему Африка занимает центральное место в глобальной миссии БРИКС?) / Russia, May, 2023
                              Keywords: brics+, expert_opinion

                              In 2023 South Africa is chairing the BRICS grouping and has declared that it intends to work towards closer BRICS-Africa partnership. As a member of the BRICS core South Africa has been among the most active proponents of advancing BRICS as an open platform that reaches out to Africa and the rest of the developing world via the BRICS+ format. Today it is impossible to imagine a BRICS grouping on the international arena without South Africa and Africa being one of its key regional agendas. In fact, Africa is much more than just a regional track in BRICS development strategy – Africa holds the key to BRICS pursuing its true global mission.

                              The question of what the true mission of BRICS is today is still an open one – is it about creating a "club of heavy-weights" or rather a wide platform that can include not just the giants of the developing world, but also the mid-sized and small economies of the Global South? In other words, is BRICS to evolve in the direction of an exclusive and introvert club or an open inclusive platform that offers a range of modalities of economic cooperation? Many experts view the BRICS future evolution through the prism of size – hence the discussions about further expansion in the block including the largest developing countries from the G20. But the inclusion of South Africa as a member BRICS marks a departure from this prioritization of weight and size (there are a number of developing economies that are larger than South Africa in terms of GDP) towards inclusiveness and representation of all of the main regions of the Global South. It is precisely the integration of South Africa into BRICS that makes it possible to transform this platform from an elitist club of heavy-weights into a block that prioritizes diversity and outreach to the wider development community.

                              This development towards greater inclusiveness and the integration of an African economy into the platform is what sets the BRICS apart from the G7 – a grouping that brings together the largest developed economies. While the G7 has also embarked on outreach formats with the participation of developing economies, it remains in essence an elitist club whose core is limited only to advanced economies with the largest GDP size, with no clear prospect of including developing countries into the core. In the case of BRICS, not only has the core already expanded to include South Africa, there are also active discussions on the possibility of the BRICS core to incorporate more African economies. The inclusion of South Africa marked a departure (in some ways an innovation) from the track charted by the developed world in building alliances that are meant to serve as a basis for global governance.

                              Perhaps then it is not by chance that it was precisely during South Africa's chairmanship in BRICS that the outreach format received crucial impulses – first during the outreach meetings at the 2013 BRICS summit in Durban and then during the 2018 summit, when South Africa successfully hosted the BRICS+ meetings that for the first time ushered in the participation of countries representing the regional blocks and groupings from the developing world. I would venture to make the claim in this respect that of all the BRICS economies, South Africa is perhaps one of the least Realpolitik (narrowly focused on national interests) and the most committed to advancing the broader "beyond its borders" agenda of Africa's regional development, the development of the Global South and a more balanced development for the global community. After the contributions delivered by South Africa to the outreach formats during its chairmanship in the BRICS, this year's summit may present yet another legacy for the evolution of the BRICS block in the direction of greater openness and inclusiveness – either via discussions on the inclusion of new members into the core or the formation of a platform that brings together the regional arrangements in which BRICS countries are members.

                              What all this means is that South Africa and Africa more broadly are the key gateways for BRICS to scale up its outreach to the rest of the developing world. Building a platform for regional arrangements that brings together regional blocks of the developing world may be an innovation and a lasting contribution not only to BRICS development per se, but also to the creation of a new, regional layer of global governance. Africa is in a strong position to spearhead such efforts as it already leads the Global South in building a pan-continental free trade area – the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), while the African Union is arguably one of the most active and effective pan-continental/regional blocks that is likely to receive full-fledged membership in the G20.

                              The formation of a platform for regional arrangements could revitalize BRICS development in a number of ways. The creation of a platform for regional organizations in which BRICS countries are members – including the likes of the AU, ASEAN, SCO and CELAC – could broaden the outreach of BRICS+ to cover the vast majority of the Global South. A regional platform that brings together the regional financing arrangements of BRICS+ countries (including the EFSD, FLAR and BRICS CRA) could become the basis for a more effective BRICS Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) – until now as pointed out by Marco Fernandes, "the lack of strong leadership since its inauguration in 2015 and the absence of a solid strategy from the five member countries has prevented the CRA from taking off1". Most importantly, a platform for regional trading arrangements – such as the AfCFTA as well as MERCOSUR and the Eurasian Economic Union – could serve as the basis for bolstering trade integration within the BRICS+ format. As has been the case with BRICS CRA, trade integration stayed on the back-burner of BRICS agenda, but with the greater advances made by BRICS members in their respective regional trade blocks it may be possible now to pursue the "integration of integrations" route.

                              All of the above contributions coming from South Africa may serve not only the purposes of adding scale and forging solidarity within the wider circle of BRICS-plus – in economic terms it may provide BRICS with the much needed boost to mutual trade and a strong growth impulse coming from some of the fastest growing regions in the world such as Africa. As stated by Jeffrey Sachs, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals: "Africa can and will rise to growth of 7 percent or more per year consistently in the coming decades. What we'll see … is a real acceleration of Africa's sustainable development so that Africa will be the fast-growing part of the world economy. Africa is the place to invest.2"

                              In the end, within BRICS it is the South African "S" that gives it the sense of plurality. BRICS needs Africa in order for the block to follow the route of greater openness, inclusiveness and growth. For its part Africa via BRICS+ can deliver a tangible contribution to building a more equitable and fair global governance. This is after all, precisely the "win-win" scenario that could serve not only BRICS and Africa, but also the Global South and the whole international economy.




                                            Russia, India to bolster counter-terror cooperation in BRICS, SCO (Россия и Индия будут укреплять контртеррористическое сотрудничество в рамках БРИКС и ШОС) / Russia, May, 2023
                                            Keywords: national_security, cooperation

                                            Russia and India discussed both countries' national experience in the fight against terrorism and extremism and exchanged assessments of essential terrorist threats at the global and regional levels

                                            MOSCOW, May 3. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov and his Indian counterpart Sanjay Verma reaffirmed their countries' readiness to bolster constructive counter-terror cooperation in the bilateral format and within the UN, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.

                                            "Russia and India discussed both countries' national experience in the fight against terrorism and extremism and exchanged assessments of essential terrorist threats at the global and regional levels. The sides reaffirmed their readiness for bolstering constructive counter-terror cooperation in the bilateral format and on multilateral platforms, primarily, within the UN, BRICS and the SCO," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the results of the 12th meeting of the Russia-India working group on fighting terrorism.

                                            The participants in the meeting stressed the importance of further developing international interaction in this sphere to fight the use of modern technologies for terrorist goals and the spread of terrorist and extremist ideology and to "counter financing and other financial support of terrorism," it said.

                                            "The next meeting of the working group will take place in New Delhi within the timeframe agreed upon by the parties," the ministry said.

                                                          Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 3, 2023 (Брифинг официального представителя МИД М. Захаровой, г. Москва, 3 мая 2023 г.) / Russia, May, 2023
                                                          Keywords: mofa, quotation

                                                          Question: Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the BRICS countries could adopt a single currency, a supranational unit of account. How likely is it that it will appear in the near future?

                                                          Maria Zakharova: Considering the current international situation where Western currencies (the dollar and the euro) are being used by the collective West, the NATO-centric countries and their military-political associations as a pressure tool, and even weaponising them in certain areas, more and more countries are thinking about enhancing the role of alternative payment systems and currencies in mutual transactions.

                                                          BRICS is acting in line with these trends. Their decisions have no purpose of harming anyone or making a statement. They are prompted by life itself, by an aversion to pressure and disdain for more lies on the part of the West.

                                                          For many years, Washington has been claiming that the dollar is not only the US national currency, but a factor, a product, an element of the internal economic space that the United States is ready to provide to everyone to benefit from it, to use in international economic financial cooperation, and the economic activities of international entities. This is the way they made it look. Among other things, it was Washington that insisted that political methods of pressure to resolve economic problems were unacceptable, that political motivation was to be avoided because it could disrupt the natural course of economic relations, impair competition, freedom of enterprise, market mechanisms, etc.

                                                          This no longer seems to be the case. It turned out that Washington had a different plan from the start – to use the situation at critical moments (and maybe not even at critical moments, but whenever it found necessary) as an element of blackmail, pressure, and sometimes as a weapon for achieving its unscrupulous and illegal goals and objectives.

                                                          The idea of creating an international reserve currency based on the BRICS currency basket, which could be used for payments between the members, was proposed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit on June 23, 2022.

                                                          This forward-looking initiative warrants a detailed expert analysis in a five-sided format, because the creation of supranational payment instruments is not an easy process. In any case, issues related to payment mechanisms are in the focus of constant attention of the BRICS countries. We do not rule out that this may be a subject of discussion at the upcoming meeting of the five BRICS leaders in South Africa.

                                                                        Investment and Finance
                                                                        Investment and finance in BRICS
                                                                        Iran's non-oil trade with BRICS nations nears $40bn (Ненефтяная торговля Ирана со странами БРИКС приближается к 40 миллиардам долларов) / Saudi Arabia, May, 2023
                                                                        Keywords: trade_relations
                                                                        Saudi Arabia

                                                                        Non-oil trade between Iran and members of the BRICS alliance of emergent economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – reached $38.43 billion in fiscal year 2022-23, according to data released by the Islamic Republic's Customs Administration.

                                                                        This represents a 14 percent increase from the previous fiscal year.

                                                                        China remains Iran's main trade partner in the BRICS alliance, with $30.32 billion in trade, an increase of 37 percent. India comes next with $4.99 billion, a 47 percent hike; Russia follows with $2.32 billion, Brazil with $466.55 million, and South Africa with $322.04 million.

                                                                        The economic report comes just days after Tehran revealed that trade with African nations increased by 2.24 percent in fiscal year 2022-23, to reach $1.2 billion.

                                                                        Despite a "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign from the west – and a push from Washington to seize more Iranian oil ships – the Islamic Republic has managed to overcome the unilateral restrictions and bolster industrial capacity.

                                                                        In recent months, BRICS has also seen a surge of interest from Global South nations looking to ditch the US dollar and the hegemonic western financial system.

                                                                        Iran, alongside five Arab nations, have formally requested to join the alliance. BRICS foreign ministers will hold an annual summit in Cape Town during the first week of June to discuss the membership applications.

                                                                        "We are getting applications to join every day," South Africa's ambassador to the bloc told Bloomberg last month.

                                                                        Bloomberg revealed BRICS is expected to surpass G7 states in economic growth expectations. By 2028, the G7 is expected to make up just 27.8 percent of the global economy, while BRICS will make up 35 percent.

                                                                        In January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that BRICS is in talks to create a common currency.

                                                                        Referring to the US-dominated financial system, Lavrov said that "serious, self-respecting countries are well aware of what is at stake, see the incompetence of the 'masters' of the current international monetary and financial system, and want to create their own mechanisms to ensure sustainable development, which will be protected from outside dictates."

                                                                        On 13 April, Brazil's President Ignacio Lula da Silva called on the member states of BRICS and countries that seek to become part of it to replace the dollar in foreign trade.

                                                                        "Every night, I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar," he said, adding the question, "Why can't we do trade based on our own currencies."
                                                                                      Work on increasing use of national currencies within SCO cannot be stopped — Lavrov (Работу по расширению использования национальных валют в рамках ШОС нельзя останавливать — Лавров) / Russia, May, 2023
                                                                                      Keywords: economic_challenges, sergey_lavrov

                                                                                      "The relevant departments, ministries of finance, and central banks are now reviewing all this This process is already underway, and it cannot be stopped," the top diplomat stated

                                                                                      PANAJI /Goa, India/, May 5. /TASS/. The work to increase the use of national currencies in settlements between the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) cannot be stopped, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Friday.

                                                                                      "There is an understanding to increase the use of national currencies in settlements among SCO members. The approaches being developed inside the Eurasian Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and, and the BRICS New Development Bank can be applied to this. Everything was discussed and it's all very relevant," he remarked.

                                                                                      "The relevant departments, ministries of finance, and central banks are now reviewing all this This process is already underway, and it cannot be stopped," Lavrov stated.

                                                                                      At the same time, Lavrov recalled Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's suggestion for the BRICS to convert to their own currencies. "In terms of the BRICS New Development Bank, we paid attention to the President of Brazil's repeated initiative to switch to their own currencies with the prospect, which is not ruled out, of creating some kind of aggregated currency," Lavrov added.

                                                                                      "The most important thing now is to consider practical issues that will allow the cooperation of independent states to be protected from actions of the West that abuse its position in the global economy as a whole, including actions of the United States to abuse the dollar's position as a reserve currency. However, the euro also shows such approaches," he said.

                                                                                                    Depolarization as it is: Let's call the hypothetical currency the 'bric (Деполяризация как она есть: давайте назовем гипотетическую валюту «брикетом».) / Russia, May, 2023
                                                                                                    Keywords: economic_challenges

                                                                                                    Argentina will start to pay for Chinese imports in yuan rather than dollars, the government announced a measure that aims to relieve the country's dwindling dollar reserves, Reuters reports.

                                                                                                    In April, it aims to pay around $1 billion of Chinese imports in yuan instead of dollars and thereafter around $790 million of monthly imports will be paid in yuan, a government statement said.

                                                                                                    The decision aims to ease the outflow of dollars, Argentina's Economy minister Sergio Massa said during an event following a meeting with the Chinese ambassador, Zou Xiaoli, as well as with companies from various sectors.

                                                                                                    The decision comes as the South American nation battles critical levels in its dollar reserves amid a sharp drop in agricultural exports caused by a historic drought, as well as political uncertainty ahead of elections this year.

                                                                                                    In November last year, Argentina expanded a currency swap with China by $5 billion , seeking to strengthen Argentina's international reserves.

                                                                                                    The agreement will allow Argentina "to work on the possibility" of advancing the rate of imports, Massa added, with yuan-denominated import orders being authorized in 90 days rather than the standard 180 days.

                                                                                                    Talk of de-dollarization is in the air, writes Joseph W. Sullivan, a senior advisor at the Lindsey Group and a former special advisor and staff economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers during the Trump administration.

                                                                                                    Last month, in New Delhi, Alexander Babakov, deputy chairman of Russia's State Duma, said that Russia is now spearheading the development of a new currency. It is to be used for cross-border trade by the BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Weeks later, in Beijing, Brazil's president, Luiz Inàcio Lula da Silva, chimed in. "Every night," he said, he asks himself "why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar."

                                                                                                    These developments complicate the narrative that the dollar's reign is stable because it is the one-eyed money in a land of blind individual competitors like the euro, yen, and yuan.

                                                                                                    A BRICS-issued currency would be like a new union of up-and-coming discontents who, on the scale of GDP, now collectively outweigh not only the reigning hegemon, the United States, but the entire G-7 weight class put together.

                                                                                                    Foreign governments wanting to liberate themselves from reliance on the U.S. dollar are anything but new. Murmurs in foreign capitals about a desire to dethrone the dollar have been making headlines since the 1960s. But the talk has yet to turn into results. By one measure, the dollar is now used in 84.3 percent of cross-border trade — compared to just 4.5 percent for the Chinese yuan.

                                                                                                    Nevertheless, at least based on the economics, a BRICS-issued currency's prospects for success are new. However early plans for it are, and however many practical questions remain unanswered, such a currency really could dislodge the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of BRICS members. Unlike competitors proposed in the past, like a digital yuan, this hypothetical currency actually has the potential to usurp, or at least shake, the dollar's place on the throne.

                                                                                                    Let's call the hypothetical currency the 'bric'.

                                                                                                    Is it realistic to imagine the BRICS using only the bric for trade? Yes.

                                                                                                    For starters, they could fund the entirety of their import bills by themselves. In 2022, as a whole, the BRICS ran a trade surplus, also known as a balance of payments surplus, of $387 billion – mostly thanks to China.

                                                                                                    The BRICS would also be poised to achieve a level of self-sufficiency in international trade that has eluded the world's other currency unions. Because a BRICS currency union — unlike any before it — would not be among countries united by shared territorial borders, its members would likely be able to produce a wider range of goods than any existing monetary union. An artifact of geographic diversity, that is an opening for a degree of self-sufficiency that has painfully eluded currency unions defined by geographic concentration, like the Eurozone, also home to a $476 billion trade deficit in 2022.

                                                                                                    But the BRICS would not even need to trade only with each other. Because each member of the BRICS grouping is an economic heavyweight in its own region, countries around the world would likely be willing to do business in the bric.

                                                                                                    A preview of something like the absolute worst-case scenario that could befall consumers in BRICS countries if their governments adopted "bric or bust" terms of trade comes from today's Russia. American and European governments have prioritized Russia's economic isolation. Nevertheless, some U.S. and European goods continue to flow into Russia.

                                                                                                    As officials in BRICS countries grow increasingly emphatic about their desire to de-dollarize, with today's Russia as an upper bound of how bad it could get, the risk-reward tradeoff of de-dollarization will look increasingly attractive.

                                                                                                    To displace the dollar as a reserve currency among BRICS, the 'bric' would also need safe assets to be parked in when not in use for trade. Is it realistic to imagine the 'bric' finding these? Yes.

                                                                                                    But assets denominated in the 'bric' would actually have characteristics likely to make them unusually attractive to foreign investors. Since the BRICS reportedly plan to back their new currency with gold and other metals with intrinsic value, like rare-earth metals, interest-paying assets denominated in the bric would resemble interest-paying gold.

                                                                                                    That's an unusual characteristic. It is one that could make the assets denominated in the 'bric' attractive to investors who want both the interest-bearing property of bonds and the diversifying properties of gold.

                                                                                                    The geopolitics among BRICS members is also thorny. But a BRICS currency would represent cooperation in a well-defined area where interests align. Countries like India and China may have security interests at odds with each other. But India and China do share an interest in de-dollarizing. And they can cooperate on shared interests while competing on others.

                                                                                                    The 'bric' would not so much snatch the crown off of the dollar's head as shrink the size of the territory in its domain. Even if the BRICS de-dollarized, much of the world would still use dollars, and the global monetary order would become more multipolar than unipolar.

                                                                                                                  World of Work
                                                                                                                  SOCIAL POLICY, TRADE UNIONS, ACTIONS
                                                                                                                  Sports Minister Matytsin suggests at meeting with Putin that Russia host 2024 BRICS Games (Министр спорта Матыцин на встрече с Путиным предложил провести Игры БРИКС в 2024 году в России) / Russia, May, 2023
                                                                                                                  Keywords: social_issues

                                                                                                                  ST. PETERSBURG, May 2. /TASS/. Russia's Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin suggested at a government meeting on Tuesday with President Vladimir Putin that the 2024 BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Games should be organized on Russian soil.

                                                                                                                  "In 2024, when Russia chairs BRICS, we suggest organizing the BRICS Games in our country. We view this event particularly relevant, given the prospect of the BRICS format's expansion in terms of new member states," Matytsin said.

                                                                                                                  On February 28, 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.

                                                                                                                  Following the IOC's recommendations in late February 2022, the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.

                                                                                                                  At its session on January 25, 2023, the IOC Executive Board put forward a proposal to permit individual athletes from Russia and Belarus to take part in international sports tournaments, but only under certain conditions. Athletes from the countries in question should not be "actively supporting" Russia's special military operation in Ukraine and must compete under a neutral status.

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