Information Bulletin of the BRICS Trade Union Forum
Issue 26.2019
2019.06.24 — 2019.06.30
International relations
Foreign policy in the context of BRICS
In veiled reference to Pak, BRICS nations urge countries to stop terror financing (В завуалированном сообщении Пакистану, страны БРИКС призывают страны прекратить финансирование терроризма) / India, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, terrorism, national_security

In what can be inferred as a reference to Pakistan, BRICS leaders on Friday reiterated that it is the responsibility of all countries to prevent financing of terrorist networks and of terrorist actions from their territories.

In a joint statement after an informal meeting on the margins of G-20 Summit at Osaka, leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa reiterated their commitment to "fight the exploitation" of the internet for terrorist purposes.

"We strongly condemn terrorist attacks, including against BRICS countries, in all forms and manifestations, wherever and by whom so ever committed," reads the statement.

"We reiterate that it is the responsibility of all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and of terrorist actions from their territories. We reiterate our commitment to fight the exploitation of the internet for terrorist purposes," it added.

Addressing the BRICS nations, PM Narendra Modi earlier asserted that terrorism is the "biggest threat" to humanity, and urged BRICS member countries to contribute in ending all mediums of support to terrorism and racism.

India, in the past, has blamed Pakistan for carrying out terrorist attacks in the country and asked it to stop supporting terror outfits operation from its soil, stating it as a condition for talks between the two nations.

Terming corruption as a global challenge, BRICS leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to supporting international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows.

"We acknowledge that corruption, including illicit money and financial flows, and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions, is a global challenge which may impact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach and encourage a stronger global commitment in this regard," further read the statement.

"We reaffirm our commitment to support international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows, including cooperation within the Financial Actions Task Force (FATF), the World Customs Organisation and other relevant multilateral mechanisms," it added.

Last week, the FATF told Pakistan to "swiftly" complete its action plan to curb terror financing by October or face consequences. Pakistan is currently on the "grey list" of countries that have been inadequate in curbing money laundering and terror financing. The country has already missed two prior deadlines -- in January and May 2019 -- to complete their action plan
G20 summit – step to ease tensions (Саммит G20 - шаг к ослаблению напряженности) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, expert_opinion, global_governance

Russian President V.Putin and US President D.Trump hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka. RISS expert Vyacheslav Kholodkov believes that it is a remarkable event regardless of the outcome. "The two largest nuclear powers should not ignore each other," he said.

According to the analyst, BRICS leaders' meeting is also a significant event. BRICS is a key element of the emerging multipolar world. We can see that this new world is born in torments, and the old world aggressively resists it, he noted. President of Brazil J.Bolsonaro, who is known for his pro-American views, has also participated in the meeting. This proves once again that BRICS itself is much more important than the political views of the heads of its member states.

At the G20 Summit, participants discussed broad range of topics of mutual interest: the state and prospects of the world economy, the digital economy, Internet trade, cryptocurrencies, pensions, and environmental problems. RISS expert drew attention to the special importance of discussing the licensing of companies engaged in the cryptocurrency trading, as well as Internet trade in terms of developing common standards of taxation.

The topical issues of the summit were also US-Iran relations deteriorating and the problem of the US-China trade war. BRICS leaders and Japanese Prime Minister S.Abe also stressed the danger of a bilateral trade war. It is not surprising that one of the most discussed topics in mass media is the statement on the temporary truce in US-China trade clash. "This statement is China's obvious victory. We can admire Beijing's achievement. Now there are very few countries that can resist the aggressive US pressure. The US has recorded its slowest economic growth recently. Trump is under unprecedented pressure from American firms operating in China. These are the main reasons for Washington to keep the US-China truce in place. The world leaders are also against the trade war. America trembled. The world applauds China that survived under such tough pressure from the world hegemon," the analyst concluded.
China's Xi Says Developed Countries' Protectionism Poses Biggest Risk to International Community (Китайская сторона заявляет, что протекционизм развитых стран представляет наибольшую угрозу для международного сообщества) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, global_governance

OSAKA (Sputnik) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the international community was facing instability, while the biggest risk was posed by the developed countries' unilateralism and protectionism, leading to trade wars.

"We are now facing a very difficult situation at the international arena. Even though the global economy is generally growing, we are witnessing the increase in instability and uncertainty. The biggest risk is that some developing countries take protectionist and unilateral measures leading to trade wars and economic blockade. All of this destroys the international trade order and chain of production and this also affects the mutual interests of our countries. Besides, this casts a shadow on peace and stability in the entire world, as well as development," Xi said at an informal BRICS meeting held on the margins of the G20 summit in Osaka.

Xi noted that reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO) would meet the interests of developing countries, adding that BRICS states should reject protectionism and defend the key principles of the organization.

"The WTO reform is based on our mutual interests, mutual interests of developing countries. BRICS member states have close views on this matter, and we should reject protectionist measures and defend key values and principles of the WTO, including a special differentiated approach to developing countries. We should overcome the impasse faced by this organization," Xi said.

Putin on National Currencies in BRICS Transactions

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the use of national currencies for transactions between BRICS member state was promising.

"The joint work on introducing the practice of using national currencies of our states for international transactions looks promising," Putin said at the BRICS meeting.

Putin also noted that BRICS meetings traditionally held ahead of G20 summits helped member states coordinate positions and showed the efficiency of the BRICS strategic partnership.

"Our traditional meetings ahead of summits of the Group of Twenty undoubtedly play an important role in forming joint positions on key items of the agenda of these forums. They show that the strategic partnership of the BRICS counties works," he said.

India's Modi Сalls for Boosting Investment in Infrastructure Projects

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for increased investment in renewable energy sources and infrastructure projects in developing countries.

"It is necessary to ensure that fuel products, oil and gas can be bought at an affordable price. It is of utmost importance for developing countries. It is necessary to invest more in renewable energy resources and infrastructure projects in developing countries," Modi said.

Bolsonaro Says Determined to Increasing the Influence of BRICS

Brazil intends to take efforts toward increasing the influence of the BRICS group, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said.

"Our administration is determined to actively work on increasing the influence of this group," Bolsonaro said at an informal BRICS meeting on the margins of the G20 summit in Osaka.

The Brazilian leader also praised the role of the BRICS bank in cooperation between the member states.
Transcript of Media Briefing by Foreign Secretary after BRICS Leaders' Informal meeting in Osaka (Стенограмма брифинга для СМИ министра иностранных дел после неформальной встречи лидеров БРИКС в Осаке) / India, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, speech

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:Friends, good afternoon and welcome to the second briefing of the day from Osaka. Since our last briefing there have been three engagements of the Prime Minister. Prime Minister participated in the BRICS Leaders' meeting and followed by two bilateral meetings with Saudi Arabia and Republic of Korea. I have with me the Foreign Secretary who will brief us on all the three engagements. Sir, the floor is yours.

Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale:Thank you. You would have of course seen live the Prime Minister's statement at the BRICS Leaders' Meeting and the joint media statement is also up on the website. I just want to therefore very briefly flag that in the joint media statement there are several significant points which India has introduced and which for us as a country is important and the Prime Minister has been stressing this at the G20 as well as BRICS.

Firstly, I think we all agree that BRICS all five countries to sustain a favorable global environment for international trade and that BRICS countries represent now a significant part of that global growth and the Prime Minister's view has consistently been that India is an engine now for the global growth and will be a bigger engine in the future and therefore we have a role to play.

I want to draw your attention in particular to the important point made in the BRICS statement about the interface between trade and the digital economy and also to affirm the role of data for development. From our perspective data is a major issue, it is an issue which we are also domestically looking at where international rule-making is taking place, our view and the view of the other BRICS countries is that this should be discussed within the WTO context and not outside the WTO context and that data also needs to take into account the requirements of developing countries. It is a new form of wealth and therefore this particular point in the BRICS statement coming as it does when the WTO is looking into framing international rules for data is important.

Prime Minister, as you know, has for the last couple of years been talking of reformed multilateralism. Multilateral institutions needs to remain, but they also deserve to be reformed and in that context, I therefore want to point to that particular paragraph in this BRICS statement which talks of our "Commitment to multilateralism and international law but also talks of the necessary reforms of the organizations with a view to better addressing current and future challenges in international trade." This is also shared by the other BRICS members.

Lastly, I want to mention that there is a mention of the institutions that the BRICS have setup in the last few years particularly the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement. These are working well. Actually the New Development Bank has begun significant lending operations including two projects in India. They are looking at the possibility of inducting new members in the future and we are also therefore looking at creating new institutions within BRICS, in that context the Prime Minister in his speech referred to the initiative that we have taken for this Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and sought the support of other BRICS countries China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa for this purpose.

Finally, of course the paragraph on terrorism is important for us. All the BRICS countries have condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It is reiterated that the responsibility for preventing financing of terrorism, for using territories for terrorist purposes, for exploitation of the internet for terrorist purposes and to eliminate their ability to use digital platforms to recruit people, to train people, to raise finances and so on. So, in a nutshell I think the BRICS meeting has been something that we can take satisfaction from.

Subsequent to that was a meeting with His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. You recall that the Crown Prince had visited India in February and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman recalled his February visit with a lot of warmth. He felt it was a very successful visit. He was one of the leaders to congratulate our Prime Minister on his election and Prime Minister recalled that he had very warm words on that occasion.

As you know we setup a strategic partnership council when the Crown Prince came in February at the leadership level to make an assessment of the bilateral relationship to see how we can get Saudi investments in to India, how to secure our energy requirements from the Saudis and so on, so they had brief discussion on that.

Prime Minister, of course, welcome the Saudi initiative announced in February to get up to a $100 billion in investments. Naturally, both leaders discussed the situation in the Gulf. They agreed and the Prime Minister said that this could affect the oil supplies and the pricing of oil, both of these are important for India and Prime Minister particularly appreciated the efforts made by Saudi Arabia in ensuring that the oil supplies have remained stable and oil prices have remained predictable in the last few months. And he said that the Saudi Arabia's leadership role going ahead in this area in keeping a balance in the global oil market is important for the region and for the rest of the world.

The Crown Prince himself characterized the relationship as strong, he said there is no doubt about that and he said these are relations between the peoples of the two countries, country to country and leader to leader. And he felt that it was therefore duty of both sides to work together. He said that he had worked to keep the oil prices sustainable and supply regular and he said that Saudi Arabia will continue to play this role in the future.

Both Prime Minister and the Crown Prince were quite happy at the growth in trade last year, about 20%, and both of them agreed this reflects our efforts on the ground to see that we diversify our trade with Saudi Arabia.

As you know the Crown Prince had promised the Prime Minister that the Haj quota would be raised from 170 thousand annually to 200 thousand annually, this is important and this is being done. In fact in the Haj which will begin very shortly 200 thousand Indians will have the opportunity to go for Haj.

They spoke about the need for greater tourism, more flights and finally both leaders agreed that they would meet again. The Crown Prince has invited the Prime Minister to be one of the main guest at an international conference later this year and Prime Minister has accepted the invitation with pleasure. The details will of course be worked out subsequently and as and when the dates and other details are known at some later stage, our spokesman will formally announce that.

The last meeting was a brief meeting with the President of the Republic of Korea and this was essentially focused almost entirely on bilateral relations. The issue of how to review the comprehensive economic partnership agreement which is the FTA, it's a name for the FTA; was discussed. Prime Minister said that we are open to improving this, trade is important but access in services is equally important for India. We must be more ambitious in this regard and we need to have a free trade agreement which reflects the investment and the technology and the services side and not just the trade in goods.

The President of Korea mentioned that they have recently liberalized group visas for Indian tourists. He said that this was a step that they had taken and they would expect more Indian tourists to visit South Korea. They also discussed further aspects of trying to improve the visa regime including how we could give longer term stay permits for Korean nationals who are working in Korean companies and who have Korean investment in India. And finally the President said that Korea has a new Southern Policy, a policy which encourages diversification of Korean trade and investment and that India is one of the main focus points and we hope one of the main beneficiaries of this policy.

He recalled Prime Minister's Act East policy and he has suggested that we have to synergize the two policies i.e. Korea's Southern Policy and India's Act East Policy and the two Prime Ministers have discussed the possibility of setting up some sort of a mechanism or a channel for discussion to ensure that this is synergized on a regular basis and doesn't just wait for leader's meeting to take place.

So essentially the discussion was mainly bilateral and it was brief because of time constraints as the opening session was to begin. So far these are the three meetings that have been held. There are a few more engagements that Prime Minister has in the afternoon particularly the meeting with the German Chancellor and also the meeting of the Russia-India-China trilateral which will be his last engagement before the cultural event and I will brief you about that as soon as those meetings are over. Thank you.

Question: We saw the tweet on the bilateral between the Prince Minister and Saudi Prince, you mentioned counter-terrorism. Can you give us the details about what kind of measures both sides are discussing. And on BRICS you said expanding of the New Development Bank; have you considered the countries? Have any applications have come?

Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale: On the New Development Bank, at this stage, the board of governors has just taken an in-principle decision to see whether we can expand the bank. The specific countries and all have not been identified and that's a procedure. I think the point that I wish to make and the point that is also made in the BRICS statement is that in a short period of maybe five years or so we have actually established a viable banking institution, a multi-lateral banking institution and that institution has begun lending significantly and focusing on green investments.

So I think what essentially BRICS has been able to demonstrate in the last five years is that we not only have five important Heads of State and Government to talk but who actually act and I think those who were skeptical of BRICS and felt that this is an artificial creation of Goldman Sachs and there is no capacity for BRICS to grow, I think essentially that is what has been proved wrong. When we set up institutions like International Banking Institution, the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, when we take a common position on the WTO reform, when we take a common position on terrorism, it is not just a talk shop, it is a do shop and I think that is important.

Question Contd.: and on terrorism?

Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale:On terrorism with Saudi Arabia it was a very brief discussion. Essentially both sides agreed that we need to work together and we have a joint mechanism to do so, to fight this menace globally. Prime Minister, as you know, has been talking of the need for a global conference on terrorism because he feels that while there are global issues which are dealt with or rather global conferences on many other issues, this is one issue which affects all of us and it is not dealt with.

Terrorism subject was much more widely dealt with in the BRICS leaders' meeting rather than individual meetings.

Question:Could you elaborate that during the BRICS leaders' meeting when the Prime Minister raised the issue of terrorism, did the other countries also shared their views given the idea what Prime Minister proposed about having a global conference, did the leaders welcomed the idea, shared that idea or the coalition for disaster resilient infrastructure or whatever the Prime Minister suggested, those five points. Did they echo in the other statements of other leaders?

Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale: You know under the BRICS format essentially each leader has a designated time to speak given the constraints of such meetings in the margins. So this is not a big summit and the discussion does not take place in the free flowing manner that it does in the summit.

I also was not there for many of the statements because I was briefing the media on the US-India engagement but what I can say is that on the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure we have individually approached all the G20 countries and we have got a very positive response from them and that includes the four BRICS members.

Naturally this is not G20 driven initiative, this is India driven initiative with countries outside the G20 also, so we are working in that direction.

On terrorism, I think if you saw the statements of the others, they are in sync with us and the fact that the joint statement contains, from our purpose, and adequate reaffirmation of their positions.

Question:As you told all of us that data should be discussed in WTO format, can you elaborate further what is the context of ……………………… Inaudible ……………and you have President Trumps' tweet on this.

Question: As you know that USA, Japan and Australia are pushing for free flow of data, and we are talking about data for development. And there is a big statement on it. SO do you think there are big groupings on data sovereignity?

Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale: Both your questions are related. I think, essentially, we would like the international rule making on data to be done within the WTO context because movement of data is actually one form of trade. So therefore our position has been and this is the position shared by all the BRICS countries that these negotiations should not be done in groupings outside the WTO, be that the G20 or be that a group of countries within the WTO who may start negotiations or be that individual countries who take positions.

Now this is important because in the future as the digital economy grows the flow of data will be critical to trade and therefore the rule making must involve all countries and must in the manner that when trade was being discussed, when services were being discussed, efforts were made to give latitude to developing countries and to the least developed countries. In the same manner we expect data, once the rules are made, to make a similar latitude for developing countries and least developed countries so that we do not create a digital divide.

So in fact the question is very pertinent. In that, I think the message that our Prime Minister is sending and the message that BRICS is sending is that we need to do this collectively in institutions which are sanctioned for that purpose.

As far as free flow of data is concerned, I think this is also important. We would like to understand what is meant by free flow of data, because data is also, in a sense, a part of national wealth. On the other hand the flow of data is important in a globalized world. So essentially we will be talking to a number of developed countries including United States and Japan on what they mean by free flow of data. We feel that we need to understand this issue and eventually synergize it with what our domestic requirement are and then come in to the WTO to negotiate on this matter.

I think this is one of the focal points of the G20 and it will be a focal point going ahead as well.

Question:Was Iran and regional situation discussed with the Saudi Crown Prince?

Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale:No, Iran was not discussed specifically, what was in fact discussed as I explained was that Prime Minister indicated that we need to have a continuous supply of oil at predictable prices and he says that the Saudis have a critical role to play in ensuring this. He thanked the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for ensuring that as of now there is a balance in the oil market and the Saudi Crown Prince said that going forward Saudi Arabia will continue to play this role.

So in a sense, I think, there was an underlying concern conveyed that the instability that is happening in the Gulf, manifesting itself in the Gulf should not adversely impact on India to a greater degree than it already has because we have reduced imports from Iran and Venezuela. But the subject of Iran as such did not come up in discussions with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Question: Could you give me a comment about the USA President complaining about the Indian Tariffs on Twitter yesterday?

Foreign Secretary of India, Shri Vijay Gokhale:I have already spoken about this when I briefed, well essentially I think both leaders have agreed that they will now task their officials dealing with trade to have discussions to resolve these matters.

Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar:Thank you all for joining.
Translation of Prime Minister's intervention at the BRICS Leaders Informal Meeting on the margins of G20 Summit (Перевод выступления премьер-министра на неформальной встрече лидеров БРИКС в кулуарах саммита G20) / India, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, narendra_modi, speech

Your Excellencies,

First of all, I congratulate President Bolsonaro for being elected the President of Brazil. And I also welcome him in the BRICS family. I also give my heartfelt thanks to President Bolsonaro for organizing this meeting. On this occasion I congratulate our friend Ramaphosa for again being elected as the President of South Africa.


With this kind of informal discussion we get an opportunity to co-ordinate with each other on the main topics of G-20. Today I will focus on three major challenges. First, the recession and uncertainty in the world economy. One-sided decision and rivalry are dominating over rules based multilateral international trade systems. On the other hand, the lack of resources is reflected in the fact that there is an estimated deficit of $ 1.3 trillion for investing in infrastructure development of emerging market economies.

The second major challenge is to make development and progress inclusive and sustainable. Rapidly changing technologies such as digitization and climate change are not just challenges for us, but for the future generations also. Development is truly development in the right direction when it reduces inequality and contributes to the empowerment. Terror is the biggest threat to all of the humanity. It not only takes the lives of innocent people, but it has a huge adverse effect on the economic progress and social stability. We have to stop all the means of support and help available to terrorism and racism.


Although resolution of these problems is not easy, yet I would like to make 5 key recommendations in the limited time:

i)-The synergy between BRICS countries can lead, to some extent, to the resolution of the side effects of unilateral decisions. We have to keep on emphasizing for reformed multilaterism in international financial and business institutions and organizations for the necessary reforms.

ii)-For sustained economic growth the required resources such as oil and gas are needed to be constantly available at low prices.

iii)-Physical and social infrastructure and renewable energy programs of the member countries should get more priority by the New Development Bank. India's initiative for Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure will help in the development of appropriate infrastructure to face natural calamities by the least developed and developing countries. I exhort all of you to join this coalition.

iv)-Movement of skilled workers around the world should be easy. This will also benefit the countries where a large part of the population has crossed the working age.

v)-I have recently called for a Global Conference on Terrorism. Lack of necessary consent to fight against terrorism cannot keep us deedless. I appreciate Brazil to give a place in the main priorities to the fight against terrorism.

I'm eagerly waiting for the BRICS Summit in Brasília. India will fully cooperate to make this Summit successful.
Thank you all so very much.

Russia-India-China Meet on G-20 Sidelines to Have Long-Term Policy Implications - Analyst (Встреча Россия-Индия-Китай в рамках G-20 будет иметь долгосрочные последствия для политики - аналитик) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, expert_opinion, political_issues

Informal meetings between the leaders of the BRICS and the RIC take place at all multilateral summits. This week's meeting in Osaka, Japan is being seen as significant, as many of these countries are facing trade and tariff-related frictions with the US.

New Delhi (Sputnik): Russia, India, and China (RIC) will have a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in the Japanese city of Osaka this week, and according to a security analyst these three countries must not be taken lightly as they are serious players globally.

"This Russia-India-China meeting has to be seen as a substantive meeting. It will not be and cannot be seen as an optics meeting like the one between Prime Minister Modi and President Trump. I see these three countries as serious players," according to Indian Security Analyst Pravin Sawhney.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Monday, China's Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun said talks between these three leaders will centre on ways to counter the "unilateralist and protectionist trade policies of the United States.

A similar initiative could also be taken up at the level of the BRICS that comprises Brazil, South Africa apart from Russia, India, and China.

"This Russia India, China (RIC) relationship is growing and will continue to grow because these three countries are all positioned in the Eurasian landmass and this is the area that matters. So whatever is said or not said at the RIC will have long-term policy implications and I see a lot of positivity coming out of this," Sawhney said.

Both India and China are facing trade frictions with the US. India has been affected in particular by Washington's recent decision to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), besides other trade-related disputes.

India has countered by imposing retaliatory trade tariffs on the US covering 28 products, including almonds and apples.

The China-United States stand-off is over Washington's demand that Beijing reduces the massive trade deficit of over $539 billion. The US is also asking China to come up with verifiable steps to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and technology transfers, besides giving more access to American goods in Chinese markets.

Both countries have imposed additional tariffs on billions of dollars worth of mutual exports.

Of late, Russia's slant towards China and Pakistan had India concerned so much that Prime Minister Modi undertook a visit to the Russian city of Sochi last year to reset ties. Moscow still remains a major supplier of critical components to the military and civil nuclear works.

China's Zhang Jun said this trilateral relationship is showing "sound momentum of growth", and therefore, under the present circumstances, "it is important that these three countries strengthen coordination on major global issues and deepen cooperation on multilateral and international affairs to make an important contribution to global peace".
BRICS leaders reaffirm commitment to multilateralism (Лидеры БРИКС подтверждают приверженность многосторонности) / China, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, expert_opinion

Leaders of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism at an informal meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing 14th G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Friday.

"We reaffirm our commitment to multilateralism and international law, and our full support to the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its center," said the group in a joint media statement issued after the meeting, which was chaired by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Norberto Moretti, a Brazilian sherpa for the summit and BRICS affairs, said it was a substantive meeting, with the leaders sharing their views on many of the issues on the international agenda, including climate change, anti-corruption and sustainable development.

In an exclusive interview with, Moretti said that faced with the current complicated global economic situation, the most important contribution that BRICS can make is to demonstrate that multilateralism works, and that the difficulties plaguing the international community can be addressed through negotiation, cooperation and dialogue.

According to the statement, BRICS members are committed to transparent, non-discriminatory, open, free and inclusive international trade, and believe that protectionism and unilateralism run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO.

The document also said the world economy appears to be stabilizing and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and continue into 2020.

However, it also noted that continued robust economic growth remains highly uncertain, because of risks caused by rising trade and geopolitical tensions, commodity price volatility, inequality, and economic growth that is not sufficiently inclusive, as well as tighter financial conditions.

In this scenario, the five countries will enhance their growth potential by furthering structural reforms and contribute to international trade flows through balanced trade expansion.

Brazil, which currently assumes the role of chairmanship of BRICS, said one of its top priorities is to promote science, technology and innovation through concrete cooperation programs, which is in the interest of all BRICS members.

As to BRICS cooperation based on other multilateral mechanisms such as the G20, Moretti said the five countries should try and coordinate their position and defend them in larger groups.
Russia-India-China share a room with a view (Россия-Индия-Китай разделяют общие цели) / China, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, expert_opinion
Author: Pepe Escobar

No leaks from their trilateral at the G20, but the trend toward togetherness is clear

The most important trilateral at the G20 in Osaka was confined to a shoddy environment unworthy of Japan's unrivaled aesthetic minimalism.

Japan excels in perfect planning and execution. So it's hard to take this setup as an unfortunate "accident." At least the – unofficial – Russia-India-China summit at the sidelines of the G20 transcended the fate of an interior decorator deserving to commit seppuku.

Leaders of these three countries met in virtual secrecy. The very few media representatives present in the shabby room were soon invited to leave. Presidents Putin, Xi and Modi were flanked by streamlined teams who barely found enough space to sit down. There were no leaks. Cynics would rather joke that the room may have been bugged anyway. After all, Xi is able to call Putin and Modi to Beijing anytime he wants to discuss serious business.

New Delhi is spinning that Modi took the initiative to meet in Osaka. That's not exactly the case. Osaka is a culmination of a long process led by Xi and Putin to seduce Modi into a serious Eurasia integration triangular road map, consolidated at their previous meeting last month at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek.

Now Russia-India-China (RIC) is fully back in business; the next meeting is set for the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September.

In their introductory remarks, Putin, Xi and Modi made it clear that RIC is all about configuring, in Putin's words, an "indivisible security architecture" for Eurasia.

Modi – very much in a Macron vein – stressed the multilateral effort to fight climate change, and complained that the global economy is being ruled by a "one-sided" dictate, emphasizing the necessity of a reform of the World Trade Organization.

Putin went a step ahead, insisting, "our countries are in favor of preserving the system of international relations, whose core is the UN Charter and the rule of law. We uphold such important principles of interstate relations as respect for sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs."

Putin clearly underlined the geopolitical interconnection of the UN, BRICS, SCO and G20, plus "strengthening the authority of the WTO" and the International Monetary Fund as the "paragon of a modern and just multipolar world that denies sanctions as legitimate actions."

The Russia-India-China contrast with the Trump administration could not be starker.

Those 'tremendous assets' BRICS, as it stands, is dead. There was an "official," pro-forma BRICS meeting before the RIC. But it's no secret both Putin and Xi completely distrust Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, regarded as a Trump neocolonial asset.

Ahead of his bilateral with Trump, Bolsonaro peddled Brazil's mineral wealth, claiming the country may now export "niobium trinkets."

Well, that's certainly less controversial than the Brazilian military sherpa arrested in Spain for carrying industrial quantities of cocaine (36kg) in the presidential plane, definitely ruining the after-hours party time in Osaka.

Later on, Trump eagerly praised Brazil's "tremendous assets," now being fully privatized to the benefit of US companies.

Xi, as he addressed the BRICS meeting, denounced protectionism and called for a stronger WTO. BRICS nations, he said, should "increase our resilience and capability to cope with external risks."

Putin went one up. Apart from denouncing "protectionist" tendencies in global trade, he called for bilateral trade in national currencies bypassing the US dollar – mirroring a commitment by the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Russia-China, via Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and head of the People's Bank of China, Yi Gang, have signed an agreement to switch to rubles and yuan in bilateral trade, starting with energy and agriculture, and increase cross-currency settlements by 50% in the next few years.

There will be a concerted effort to increasingly bypass SWIFT, using the Russian System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS) and the Chinese Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payments System (CIPS).

Sooner or later Russia-China will entice India to join. Moscow has excellent bilateral relations with both Beijing and New Delhi, and is decisively playing the role of privileged messenger.

The mini-trade war against New Delhi launched by the Trump administration – including the loss of India's special trade status and punishment for buying Russian S-400 missile systems – is quickening the pace of the process. India, by the way, will pay for the S-400s in euros.

Modi listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the trilateral meeting with President Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The Indian PM is being wooed by his powerful neighbors. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik There were no leaks whatsoever from Russia-India-China about Iran. But diplomats say that was a key theme of the discussion. Russia is already – covertly – helping Iran on myriad levels. India has an existential choice to make: keep buying Iranian oil or say goodbye to Iran's strategic help, via the Chabahar port, to facilitate India's mini-Silk Road to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

China sees Iran as a key node of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative. Russia sees Iran as essential for strategic stability in Southwest Asia – a key theme of the Putin-Trump bilateral, which also discussed Syria and Ukraine.

RIC or Belt and Road? Whatever the psyops tactics employed by Trump, Russia-India-China is also directly implicated in the massive short and long-term ramifications of the Trump-Xi bilateral in Osaka. The Big Picture is not going to change; the Trump administration is betting on re-routing global supply chains out of China, while Beijing advances full speed ahead with its Belt and Road Initiative.

Trump is heavily distrusted across Europe – as Brussels knows the EU is the target of another imminent trade war. Meanwhile, with over 60 nations committed to myriad Belt and Road projects, and with the Eurasia Economic Union also interlinked with Belt and Road, Beijing knows it's just a matter of time before the whole of the EU hits the BRI highway.

There's no evidence that India may suddenly join Belt and Road projects. The geopolitical lure of "Indo-Pacific" – essentially just another strategy for containment of China – looms large. That's good old imperial Divide and Rule – and all the major players know it.

Yet India, now on the record, is starting to spin that Indo-Pacific is not "against somebody." India getting deeper into RIC does not imply getting closer to Belt and Road.

It's time for Modi to rise to the occasion; ultimately, he will decide which way the geoeconomic pendulum swings.
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Says BRICS Offers Help In Ending Venezuela Crisis (Заместитель министра финансов РФ заявил, что БРИКС предлагает помощь в преодолении кризиса в Венесуэле) / Pakistan, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, quotation, economic_challenges
Author: Mohammad Ali

Leaders of the five BRICS countries discussed how to help Venezuela end the crisis, at an informal meeting on the G20 margins in Osaka, and expressed their readiness to assist the country in this process, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said Saturday

OSAKA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 29th June, 2019) Leaders of the five BRICS countries discussed how to help Venezuela end the crisis, at an informal meeting on the G20 margins in Osaka, and expressed their readiness to assist the country in this process, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said Saturday.

"Venezuela was discussed at the BRICS meeting.

They said that the BRICS group would do its best to help settle this process," he told reporters.

It would be a big step forward if Venezuelan rivals sat down at the negotiating table, he added, which is a task for diplomats.

On Venezuela's debt to Russia, Storchak said Venezuela paid an installment in late March. He said previously that payments on the debt were made twice a year. The Venezuelan economy minister told Sputnik the next payment was due in September.
The dynamics of G20: Theory of first best and the group's empirics (Динамика G20: теория первых лучших и эмпирика группы) / India, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, expert_opinion, global_governance
Author: Ram Upendra Das

The G20 Summit is current underway in Osaka, Japan. It presents interesting insights into the way global economic order is shaped or de-shaped today. To understand the empirical realities of the G20, it is worthwhile to refer to the theories of first best and second best. Put simply, according to the theory of first best if all but one requirement for achieving a most desirable economic situation cannot be satisfied, it is always beneficial to satisfy the remaining ones. The theory of second best is even more interesting. It suggests that if a particular market distortion is difficult to remove, introducing another market distortion could well produce a more efficient outcome by countervailing the previous distortion.

So the question is whether G20 is a distortion to multilateralism or an impetus to it, if multilateralism is considered as the first best? With more than 80 percent of the world's economic output and two-thirds of its people, G20 represents the most powerful of countries of the globe. It is plurilateral but has the power to shape the distortions-laden multilateralism, be it the UN, the WTO, Climate Change negotiations, the international financial architecture, global digital economy regime and so on.

G20 is mini-UN and it can direct and shape the contours of WTO reforms. It can address investment needs in infrastructure which has the potential to help capital reap profits alongside huge employment generation. Prime Minister Modi highlighted an estimated deficit of $ 1.3 trillion for investing in infrastructure development of emerging market economies.

But what is it that the G20 is in news for, that too with reference to extremely crucial economic maladies? First, the global disquietedness with respect to economic unilateralism. Secondly, the unilateralism translates into bilateral trade wars and how can the G20 Summit not be an occasion to redress that? The US more than doubled import tariffs on Chinese goods worth US $200 billion. It is also considering to impose tariffs on the remaining Chinese imports into the US, including consumer products such as mobile phones, computers and clothing. This would cover another US $325 billion of Chinese goods. The retaliation by China is well-known in terms of increased tariffs on US$60 billion worth of US goods. Reports suggest that China is considering exports restraints of rare earth elements, which are crucial raw materials for a variety of electronic parts and components, affecting the entire value chain in the electronics sector.

Thirdly, an important sub-set on the sidelines of the G20 has been the BRICS. The Joint Statement on BRICS Leaders' Informal Meeting on the margins of G20 Summit is wide-ranging, covering diverse subjects that require global action and those where BRICS is moving ahead viz. New Development Bank (NDB) and BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).

Fourthly, another emerging configuration which is worth-noticing is that of the US, Japan and India, Abe described the grouping as "the foundation of peace and prosperity in the region". This has both the economic and strategic content with which India has a lot to do especially the

RCEP. Fifthly, Russia, India and China have highlighted the need to adhere to the basic agreed principles of global economic conduct.

And, finally there have been various permutations and combinations of bilaterals at the G20 summit.

What do all these add up to? Some broad inferences can be drawn. Each unilateral, bilateral, trilateral, regional and plurilateral is important for the multilateral and global trade and economic growth. These are so very crucial for the multilateral institutions and their very survival be it the UN or the WTO. Each of these interactions can determine the fate of trade and economic multilateralism. Each can be the first best if helps reversing a trade, market, and institutional distortion. And what is more all these happening at the G20 Summit.

The G20 itself is a departure from multilateralism so much so ironically that it can revive the multilateral process and a rule-based system. The G20 process has brought to the fore the need for understanding the global economic dynamics all afresh and has highlighted the imperatives of revisiting the Theories of first best and second best.
Terrorism biggest threat to humanity: Narendra Modi at informal BRICS leaders' meeting in Osaka (Терроризм - самая большая угроза человечеству: Нарендра Моди на неформальной встрече лидеров БРИКС в Осаке) / India, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, narendra_modi, terrorism, national_security

Speaking at the informal BRICS leaders' meeting in Osaka, Mr. Modi said that there is a need to stop all the mediums of support to terrorism and racism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that terrorism is the biggest threat to humanity which not only kills innocents but also severely affects the economic development and social stability.

Speaking at the informal BRICS leaders' meeting in Osaka, Mr. Modi said that there is a need to stop all the mediums of support to terrorism and racism.

"Terrorism is the biggest threat to humanity. It not only kills innocents but also severely affects the economic development and social stability," he said.

The Prime Minister, who is in Osaka for the G20 Summit, congratulated Jair Bolsonaro on being elected as the President of Brazil and welcomed him in the BRICS family.

He also congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa on his election as the President of South Africa as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit Osaka.

In his remarks, Mr. Modi spoke about strengthening the WTO, fighting protectionism, ensuring energy security and the need to work together to fight terrorism.

"Today, I will focus on the three major challenges. First is the instability and downfall in the global economy. Unilateralism and competitiveness are overshadowing the rule-based mutilateral global trade systems.

"Deficiency of resources, there is a shortfall of almost $1.3 trillion investment in the infrastructure," he said.

The second one is to make development sustainable and all-inclusive. Fast changing technologies like digitalisation and climate change pose a challenge to the current as well as future generations, Mr. Modi said.

Development is worthwhile only when it reduces inequality and contribute in empowerment, he said.
Xi urges BRICS to strengthen strategic partnership, improve global governance (Си призывает БРИКС укреплять стратегическое партнерство, улучшать глобальное управление) / China, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, xi_jinping, cooperation, global_governance

OSAKA, Japan, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on BRICS countries to enhance their strategic partnership and promote the improvement of global governance.

Xi made the remarks at a meeting with other BRICS leaders on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka.

Xi said that the international situation is now in a complicated and severe period, with the world economy maintaining growth on the whole but uncertainty and instability increasing significantly.

He urged BRICS countries, which also include Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, to do their own work well, and enhance their economic resilience and ability to withstand external risks.

Meanwhile, he said, BRICS countries need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, advance the building of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and foster a sound international environment.

The Chinese president proposed that BRICS countries strengthen their strategic partnership, noting that in the second decade of BRICS cooperation mechanism, the leaders of the five countries should play a strategic leading role, steer BRICS cooperation in the right direction and continue to make steady progress in this regard.

He said that BRICS countries need to strengthen policy coordination within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations (UN), the G20 and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and to advance "BRICS Plus" cooperation by working with other emerging-market countries and developing countries.

Meanwhile, Xi proposed that the five countries promote the improvement of global governance.

He called on BRICS members to firmly uphold multilateralism, safeguard the international order based on international law and the international system with the UN at its core, advocate extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and oppose illegal unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction."

BRICS countries should take a clear-cut stand against protectionism, protect the core values and basic principles of the WTO, actively promote the international community's implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, and promote the main theme of international cooperation, he said.

In addition, the Chinese president proposed that BRICS countries deepen practical cooperation in various areas.

The five countries need to promote cooperation in economy, politics and security, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges in a balanced manner, accelerate the building of practical cooperation projects such as the BRICS partnership for a new industrial revolution, the BRICS Innovation network and the future network research institute, and enhance their competitiveness, he said.

They also need to deeply engage themselves with global innovation cooperation, jointly advocate mutual benefit, foster an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment, and allow all countries, including emerging-market countries and developing countries, and their businesses to participate in and benefit from innovation, Xi said.

The Chinese president also called on BRICS countries to continue to support and help each other and make unremitting efforts for the better lives of their peoples and the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the meeting, which was chaired by Bolsonaro. Brazil holds the rotating presidency of BRICS mechanism.

The leaders of other BRICS countries agreed that the world today is full of uncertainties, as the international community faces challenges such as the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, the weakening of and destruction to international trade rules and the WTO, and the urgent need to strengthen the inclusiveness of development.

BRICS countries need to strengthen coordination, more actively play a leading role, safeguard multilateralism and rules-based international trading system, promote fair and sustainable patterns of development and trade based on mutual respect, and develop a more balanced international trade negotiations agenda, so as to play an even bigger role in boosting common prosperity and world economic growth, they agreed.

BRICS countries should better demonstrate the strategic value of their solidarity and cooperation, firmly uphold the development right of developing countries, and raise the status of emerging economies and developing countries in global affairs, they said.

BRICS countries also need to strengthen cooperation in digital economy, energy and finance to better resist external risks, urging the G20 summit to focus on development and implement its commitments on development assistance to Africa.

A press communique was issued after the BRICS leaders' meeting.
Meeting between leaders of Russia, India and China (Встреча лидеров России, Индии и Китая) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, vladimir_putin, narendra_modi, xi_jinping

Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting in the Russia-India-China (RIC) format with Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka.

Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi (retranslated): Your Excellencies, Mr Xi Jinping, Mr Putin,

Last year, our three countries held a summit in Argentina after a long interval. After a very useful exchange of opinions on key global matters, we decided to meet again in the future. Today, I am absolutely delighted to be greeting you all at this unofficial Russia-India-China gathering.

Mutual exchange of opinions on the status of the global economy, politics and security between us as key world economies has special significance. This trilateral meeting between us today is a very useful tool for discussing and coordinating our positions on a number of international matters.

Our foreign ministers have exchanged opinions on a number of topics during the February 2019 meeting in China. These matters include the fight against terrorism, international hotbeds of tension, the problems of a multilateral approach, climate change, and higher Russia-India-China cooperation.

And now, I would like Xi Jinping to voice his remarks.

President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): It is a real pleasure for me to meet with Mr Putin and Mr Modi at this unofficial Russia-India-China meeting. I would like to thank India for organising and preparing this event.

In November, we had very successful talks in Buenos Aires, and we are now meeting once again here in Osaka seven months later.

China, Russia and India are countries boasting huge emerging markets, and we are jointly committed to solidarity and cooperation. I would like to conduct a profound exchange of opinions, as regards the economic situation as well as the problems concerning RIC cooperation, with Mr Putin and Mr Modi.

Thank you.

Narendra Modi: And now, I would like to give the floor to Mr Putin.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Prime Minister Modi, President Xi Jinping,

The joint work in the Russia-India-China format is obviously beneficial both in terms of developing and strengthening relations directly between our countries and in terms of the contribution our three countries make to resolving acute international and regional problems.

I note that in line with the understandings reached at our last meeting in Buenos Aires, cooperation within the RIC framework has become noticeably more active. The trilateral foreign policy coordination has been growing. In February our foreign ministers had another, now the 16th round of consultations. The dialogue of our security councils, financial intelligence agencies and other sectoral institutions has been developing concurrently. Representatives of the scientific, academic and young people's communities are interacting closely. In this context, I note that Russia will host a festival of young diplomats from the RIC countries this autumn. Friends, we hope your countries will be actively involved.

It is important that Russia's, India's and China's positions are close or coincide on most issues of the world economic and political agenda. Our countries stand for the preservation of the system of international relations with the UN Charter and international law at its core. We assert such fundamental principles of international ties as respect for sovereignty and non-interference in countries' internal affairs.

Russia, India and China are jointly working for stronger global stability, combatting the terrorist threat, extremism, drug trafficking and cybercrime, and thus are laying the foundation for equal and indivisible security architecture in Eurasia.

Good results have been produced by the three-party coordination of approaches to the most significant issues on the agenda of key international organisations, such as the UN, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, where Russia has recently assumed the presidency, and, of course, the G20.

I think our countries, for example, could jointly advocate greater authority of the World Trade Organisation and the preservation of its role as a universal entity regulating international trade. Joint support of the efforts to reform the International Monetary Fund is another important task.

In a broader context, our cooperation in the RIC format could become a model for establishing an up-to-date, just and multipolar world order that rejects protectionism, the policy of unilateral actions and illegitimate sanctions.

In conclusion, I want to express my gratitude to our Indian colleagues and Prime Minister Modi personally for the preparation of today's meeting.

Thank you.
Vladimir Putin had a meeting with President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa in Osaka, Japan. (Владимир Путин встретился с президентом Южно-Африканской Республики Кириллом Рамафосой в Осаке, Япония.) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, vladimir_putin, cyril_ramaphosa

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

Please accept my heartfelt greetings.

Our previous meeting took place in July 2018 in Johannesburg. Today I want to congratulate you once again on the victory of your party, African National Congress, in the general election in May and you personally on re-election as president. I wish you good luck and every success.

We assign high priority to developing our multidimensional relations with South Africa. Specific steps to promote our bilateral overarching strategic partnership were formalised in the joint statement we adopted last year in Johannesburg.

Our close cooperation at the international arena will continue. I hope that we will further promote everything that has been achieved over the previous years, including with your participation.

We welcome South Africa's efforts as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2019 and 2020 and highly appreciate the results of South Africa's presidency in BRICS in 2018. This November, we are to work together in Brazil within the framework of BRICS and next summer the five countries' meeting will take place in Russia.

Mr President, we hope to see you in Sochi at the first Russia–Africa summit in October and just before the summit, on October 23, there will be a major economic forum. With due regard to our special, good-hearted and warm allied relationship, we rely on your assistance, Mr President, in preparing for this summit.

President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa: Thank you very much, President Putin. I want to welcome this opportunity to meet with you once again. It is always a great pleasure to have discussions and consultations with yourselves.

I'd like to start by thanking you for the congratulatory message that you sent, but especially the envoy that you sent to represent you at the inauguration.

I would like to reaffirm the importance that I personally attach, as well as South Africa attaches, to the relationship that we have with your country. This partnership builds on the bonds of friendship that were forged many many years ago during our period of struggle, when the Soviet Union supported us very actively and practically. A support that we continue to enjoy with the Russian Federation under your leadership. We really appreciate that.

I also would like to appreciate the cooperation that we enjoy and have as members of BRICS. You continue to support the various efforts that we make in BRICS and indeed, in a number of other international fora. Our continued cooperation, not only at the UN, the UN Security Council and many other international fora is something that strengthens us and we really appreciate that.

We look forward to coming to Sochi, and we thank you for your invitation. I am hoping that our participation there will continue to deepen and advance our relationship. And I know that I still have an outstanding visit to Russia, and I would like to take that invitation up. We will be discussing the dates when that should best happen. So it's something that we have at the top of our mind because we look forward to that opportunity to further deepen relations between our two countries on a number of issues, social, economic, cultural, technological, and in many other ways.

Our relationship with the Russian Federation is a very special one, and we thank you for being able to meet us.
BRICS Summit Media Statement (Заявление для средств массовой информации по итогам саммита БРИКС) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, concluded_agreements

1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met on 28 June 2019 on the margins of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. We congratulated the G20 Japanese Presidency and expressed our gratitude for the hospitality provided.

2. We note the priorities chosen by Japan for its presidency, including trade, science, technology and innovation, infrastructure, climate change, universal health coverage, aging populations and sustainable development.

3. The world economic growth appears to be stabilising and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020. However, the strengthening of growth remains highly uncertain, with rising trade and geopolitical tensions, commodity price volatility, inequality and insufficient inclusive growth, and tighter financial conditions adding to the risk. Global imbalances remain large and persistent and require thorough monitoring and timely policy responses. We further stress the importance of a favourable global economic environment for sustained growth of international trade.

4. In this scenario, we note with satisfaction that the BRICS countries have been the main drivers of global growth over the last decade, and currently represent close to a third of global output. Projections indicate that the BRICS will continue to account for more than half of global economic growth through 2030. Continued implementation of structural reforms will enhance our growth potential. Balanced trade expansion among BRICS members will further contribute to strengthening international trade flows.

5. In helping to address challenges and to fully benefit from opportunities, we acknowledge the importance of, among others: open markets; stronger economic resilience; financial stability; well-designed and coordinated macroeconomic policies, as appropriate; structural reforms; adequate investment in human capital; reduction in poverty levels and inequality; effective competition to promote investment and innovation; open, fair, just and non-discriminatory business environments; cooperation in public-private partnerships (PPP); and infrastructure financing and development. International and domestic measures in these areas and others will contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We call for greater participation of developing countries in the global value chains. We recognise the importance of the interface between trade and the digital economy. We also affirm the role of data for development.

6. We are committed to transparent, non-discriminatory, open, free and inclusive international trade. Protectionism and unilateralism run counter to the spirit and rules of the WTO. We reaffirm our commitment to multilateralism and international law, and our full support to the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at its center. We will work constructively with all WTO Members on the necessary reform of the Organization, with a view to better addressing current and future challenges in international trade, thus enhancing its relevance and effectiveness. The reform must, inter alia, preserve the centrality, core values and fundamental principles of the WTO, and consider the interests of all members, including developing countries and LDCs. It is imperative that the WTO negotiation agenda be balanced and be discussed in an open, transparent and inclusive manner.

7. The WTO dispute settlement mechanism is an indispensable pillar of the multilateral trading system and the Appellate Body is essential for the proper and effective functioning of the Organisation. We remain committed to the preservation of a functioning two-stage binding adjudication system for disputes in the WTO. Recalling the urgency of solving the impasse in the appointment of members of the WTO Appellate Body, we urge that the Appellate Body selection process be initiated immediately.

8. We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, quota-based and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the center of the Global Financial Safety Net. We reiterate our commitment to work with the Executive Board towards the implementation of the IMF quota and governance reform on the basis of the principles agreed in 2010. We remain committed to concluding the 15th General Review of Quotas no later than the 2019 Annual Meetings.

9. We note with appreciation the role of the New Development Bank (NDB) in infrastructure financing and sustainable development and stress the need for enhanced and continued efforts to build a strong, balanced and high-quality portfolio of projects. We emphasize the importance of a focused effort to address the backlog in critical infrastructure investments in member countries. The NDB will be strengthened by the establishment of regional offices. We welcome the NDB's commitment to mobilise resources in the domestic currencies of all its members, starting in China, as well as the upcoming bond programmes in South Africa and Russia. We look forward to the early implementation of the NDB Project Preparation Fund and expect it to become an efficient instrument for the preparation of projects, providing technical assistance to the NDB member countries.

10. We stress the continued importance of the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) as a mechanism to forestall short-term balance of payment pressures in member countries. Following the successful test run conducted in 2018, we commit to further more complex test runs to ensure its operational readiness to respond to a call on resources, if needed. We welcome the functioning of the CRA System of Exchange in Macroeconomic Information (SEMI). We welcome continued efforts to establish the BRICS Local Currency Bond Fund and look forward to starting its operation. We also support cooperation between the CRA and the IMF.

11. We strongly condemn terrorist attacks, including against BRICS countries, in all forms and manifestations, wherever and by whom so ever committed. We urge concerted efforts and a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism under the UN auspices on a firm international legal basis. We reiterate that it is the responsibility of all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and of terrorist actions from their territories. We reiterate our commitment to fight the exploitation of internet for terrorist purposes. While recognising that states have the leading role to ensure safety and security in the use of ICTs, we call on the technology companies to cooperate with governments, in accordance with applicable law, to eliminate the ability of terrorists to use digital platforms to encourage, recruit, facilitate or commit terrorist acts.

12. We remain firmly committed to fighting corruption and will continue to foster integrity in the public and private sectors. We will, therefore, strive to promote international anticorruption cooperation and strengthening of legal frameworks, as appropriate, to more effectively address cases of corruption especially with regard to assets recovery. We will seek to enhance our mutual efforts in the prosecution of persons sought for corruption. We recognise the role of whistle-blowers[1] in preventing and combating corruption in both the public and private sectors and the need to improve measures to protect whistle-blowers.

13. We acknowledge that corruption, including illicit money and financial flows, and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions, is a global challenge which may impact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach and encourage a stronger global commitment in this regard. We also recognise the need to strengthen cooperation, subject to domestic legal systems, in anti-corruption law enforcement, extradition of fugitives, economic and corruption offenders, and in recovering stolen assets. We reaffirm our commitment to support international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows, including cooperation within the Financial Actions Task Force (FATF), the World Customs Organisation and other relevant multilateral mechanisms.

14. We recognise the crucial role of cooperation in transitioning towards cleaner, more flexible energy efficient systems that combine growth with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring energy security, access to energy, sustainability and affordability. We acknowledge the importance of varied sources of energy and technological advances to achieve a low emission future, such as solar energy, sustainable bioenergy and natural gas in transportation. In this regard, we acknowledge efforts by BRICS countries in promoting international cooperation on renewable energy resources and reiterate our commitment to strengthen the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform, aiming at facilitating joint studies on sustainable energy and sharing advanced energy technologies.

15. We remain committed to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, adopted under the principles of the UNFCCC, including the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances. We urge developed countries to provide financial, technological and capacity-building support to developing countries to enhance their capability in mitigation and adaptation. We look forward to the UN Climate Action Summit to be held in September this year to produce positive outcomes.

16. Recalling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we reaffirm our strong commitment to sustainable development. We stress the importance of fully honoring official development assistance commitments and the provision of development resources, in accordance with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. We continue to support the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda, the G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialisation in Africa and Least Developed Countries and the G20 Africa Partnership, including the Compact with Africa.

17. We commend Brazil for identifying Economic Growth for an Innovative Future as the theme of the 2019 Chairship. Recognising that innovation is a key driving force behind development, we reaffirm our commitment to maximise the benefits of digitalisation and emerging technologies, including for the population of rural and remote areas. We encourage joint efforts to share good practices on internet-driven poverty alleviation and digital transformation of the industrial sector. We stress the importance of continuing BRICS scientific, technical, innovation and entrepreneurship cooperation, including the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR), iBRICS Network, the BRICS Institute of Future Networks, and Young Scientists Forum.

18. We express our support to the Brazilian BRICS Chairship in 2019 and look forward to a successful 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, in November.

[1] Reporting persons as defined in UNCAC Art. 33.
Meeting of BRICS leaders (Встреча лидеров БРИКС) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: top_level_meeting, vladimir_putin

BRICS heads of state and government held a meeting ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka.

The five-party meeting was attended by President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of China Xi Jinping and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,

Our traditional meetings in anticipation of the G20 summits undoubtedly play an important role in shaping common views on key issues of these forums' agenda. These meetings demonstrate that the strategic partnership of the BRICS countries is working.

The global economic situation cannot but raise concerns. It is indicative that international trade is no longer the driving force of economic growth and is carrying an increasingly heavier burden of protectionism, politically motivated restrictions and barriers. Business activity is showing poor performance indicators; the global debt is increasing; there is high volatility in financial, foreign exchange and commodity markets. In these circumstances it appears that BRICS states must act as initiators in building a more just and sustainable global development model on the principles of equality, respect for sovereignty and consideration for the interests of all countries.

It is important to not only register existing problems. Let's work together on searching for solutions, possible agreements that could become a blueprint for discussion in a wider circle of interested states. In particular, this concerns resolving the difficulties faced by global trade. Clearly, it needs to be adapted to modern reality. In this context, a reform of the World Trade Organisation is coming to the fore.

We think any attempts to destroy the WTO or diminish its role are counterproductive. WTO members need to agree on principles of cooperation in such new industries as e-commerce, online financial transactions, as well as formulate clear and unambiguous rules of cooperation in investment, services and infrastructure development. Of course, it is necessary to develop explicit and understandable rules of operation for transnational corporations that would prevent monopolisation of markets and guarantee free access to technology.

Next. BRICS can and must play a more influential role in global finances, insist on continuing the IMF reform and strengthening authority of emerging economies and developing countries in the fund.

Joint implementation of the practice of using national currencies of our states in international transactions also seems to have good prospects.

We could boost security of financial operations by integrating the five countries' payment service providers and creating an independent communication channel between national banks. I believe it is extremely important taking into account our current conditions. It would also contribute to increased stability of the BRICS banking systems against external impact.

In this context, we find it advantageous to further expand the operations of the New Development Bank that already finances 35 investment projects worth over $9 billion. Regarding the expansion of the bank's shareholding structure, our opinion is that this matter needs to be addressed in stages. The first thing to do would be to approve a quota formula for prospective shareholders and regulatory documents, followed by ensuring a balanced regional representation.

There are extensive opportunities for BRICS cooperation in the digital economy and other new and booming hi-tech industries. Russia offers its partners a number of advanced ICT and AI projects. Last year at the G20 meeting, we proposed an initiative to protect the rights of online consumers and the proposal was met with definite understanding. We hope that our BRICS partners will keep working with us on promoting this issue within the G20.

We stand for stronger cooperation between our countries in such vitally important area as energy. Since the BRICS members include leading global energy consumers and producers our association could be more active in the matters related to global energy security and universal access to energy.

We also propose discussing what can be done in the BRICS format for harmonising the global energy market and reducing fuel prices volatility. And, of course, we can see excellent prospects for joint work on broadening the use of environmentally friendly fuels, natural gas and nuclear and hydro energy. This is necessary for a gradual transition to more sustainable energy systems, balanced economic growth and lower emissions.


I note that the role of the BRICS countries in responding to acute challenges and threats to international peace and security is steadily increasing. I am referring to the settlement of crises and conflicts in Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Middle East or the Korean Peninsula. Thus, the legitimate Syrian government managed to stop large-scale bloodshed in its country largely thanks to Russia's all-round support. At the current stage it is important to stamp out the remaining hotbeds of tension, continue assistance to the Syrian authorities in the delivery of relief consignments, restoration of the derailed economy and infrastructure, and the return of refugees. We believe it is important to have our partners in the BRICS more actively involved in dealing with these matters.

Speaking of our cooperation in combatting the terrorist threat on a broader plane, I would like to commend the useful initiatives of the Brazilian Presidency aimed at promoting interaction in blocking the sources of terrorist financing and stopping extremist propaganda. We support all of these ideas and are committed to their joint implementation.

In conclusion, I want to thank our Brazilian colleagues and President Bolsonaro personally for the organisation of this meeting. Of course, we will meet with each other again on the sidelines of this summit and will be able to exchange opinions on the move regarding any issues, but the beginning of our work in this format seems to me symptomatic and very appropriate.

Thank you.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks at a meeting with representatives of regional non-profit organisations, Moscow, June 24, 2019 (Выступление Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова на встрече с представителями российских региональных некоммерческих организаций, Москва, 24 июня 2019 года) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: mofa, speech, sergey_lavrov


Welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. We are happy to receive representatives of non-profits who have come to the capital from a great many regions of the Russian Federation.

We have maintained an ongoing dialogue with Russian non-profits for 15 years, and it has become an integral part of the Ministry's work; the feedback we receive from the regions helps us to form our views regarding topics on the international agenda.

We have a special event today because for the first time ever we are meeting exclusively with representatives of regional non-profit organisations

It is in our interest for civil society institutions to be actively, energetically engaged in international activities. We are ready to help these organisations reach various foreign platforms and establish contacts with foreign colleagues. It is obvious that a broad-based dialogue with the public invariably helps maintain trust and mutual understanding, helps different peoples to learn more about each other.

Cultivating such ties and understanding at the level of civil society is especially important today. The global situation remains rather tense. There are constant attempts to aggravate it, while distorting the real reasons for pursuing the policy that our Western colleagues have started to implement. President Putin has said – at the plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, in his recent interviews and in the context of Direct Line – that the reasons for the behaviour of Western colleagues are quite clear. The US, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, came to believe in "the end of history," it got accustomed to ensuring its well-being at the expense of others, and is trying by all means to secure sole leadership in the global arena. To achieve that, attempts are being made to impede the objective processes leading to the emergence of a polycentric, more just and democratic system of international relations, to constrain the processes leading to the emergence of new global centres of economic growth, financial power and political influence. Various tools are used for that - from outright blackmail and military pressure to demonising competitors in the global information space and restricting access to markets and advanced technologies. Attempts are being made to replace universal formats, like the UN or the G20 that solve all key issues of global politics by consensus, with close-knit "get-togethers" where decisions are taken by the participants which are subsequently imposed on all the rest as the ultimate truth. In place of universally recognised international law as enshrined in the UN Charter, our Western colleagues started inventing certain rules in the past several years, which are changed each time, including retroactively, for the sake of political expediency by the US and its allies.

A special place in this collection of ill-conceived policies is reserved, of course, for unilateral economic sanctions, "trade wars" and the extraterritorial application of the national laws of the United States.

All of these tools are also used against Russia, which is treated by Washington as a major obstacle to their goal of dominating in all things in the world. Our independent domestic and foreign policy addressing legitimate national interests is increasingly a cause of irritation overseas as well as in some European capitals. This is the source of the insidious attempts to "punish" us, to make us follow the Western line. To achieve this, various ridiculous pretexts are used, such as accusations of interfering in the internal affairs of virtually the entire Western world or in whom the Western world chooses as leaders.

It is clear that the attempts to tarnish Russia by these means are destined to fail. We are a country with a thousand year history and unique geostrategic position; we are a permanent member of the UN Security Council. We will never blindly follow anyone whatsoever, but rather formulate our own policies. The sad experience of our neighbour Ukraine clearly shows what blindly following advice and cues from abroad can lead to. Under Poroshenko, who relied on radical nationalists, this country of great potential was relegated to the status of a seeker of international assistance, lost its industrial base and is still suffering from a colossal outflow of labour force, not to mention its internal conflict and the spiritual and civilisational divisions in society. It is clear that it will take many years to overcome this.

Another example of the consequences of geopolitical engineering that our Western colleagues engage in is Georgia, where Western curators are willing to turn a blind eye to ultranationalist acts of violence and anti-Russian sentiment just to sever the entire Georgian people's ties with our country and re-write our common history.

We have a rational view of the role the US and its closest allies play in the global arena. However, we do not fence ourselves from anyone, we do not withdraw into isolation, we do not shy away from dialogue on issues which offer a chance for mutually beneficial cooperation in order to curb threats common to the whole of humankind, such as terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, organised crime, WMD proliferation risks.

We will continue to advocate a positive international agenda, work to restore trust, and build a renewed architecture of equal and indivisible security for all, which will meet the requirements of the 21st century, and fair economic cooperation on the basis of honest competition,. We will push for permanent solutions to numerous crises and conflicts which, unfortunately, abound in the modern world. We are interested in and open to working with any foreign colleagues on the principles of respect for international law and each other's interests, in any geographical areas and at platforms of multilateral diplomacy. It is on this equal and mutually respectful foundation that our relations are being built with our partners from the EAEU, CSTO, CIS, SCO, BRICS, and many nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Russian non-profit organisations make their own contribution to our common efforts to promote our country's interests internationally. We have given a number of specific examples proving this. We hail your focus on operating in the space of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Efforts to promote the Russian language, Russian culture and education as well enhancing dialogue with compatriots are particularly needed there. Projects involving younger generations bear special significance.

We have vested interests in strengthening the position of Russian non-profit organisations at the UN. We continue to support them getting consultative status under the UN Economic and Social Council, and also at the Office of Information and Communications Technology of the UN Secretariat. These multilateral platforms offer a chance to express your position and be heard by a broad international audience, and make it possible to establish useful contacts including for pursuing your ideas and initiatives.

It is gratifying that the number of Russian NGOs with consultative status at these UN organisations is gradually growing, but slowly, I should say, compared to the considerable and overwhelming presence of foreign NGOs. Our NGO statistics are very modest. Of course, we cannot force our public organisations to apply for such a status yet I would suggest that those who have not yet immersed themselves in the issue, should consider the opportunities offered by the status, and make a decision on embarking on this work. We will assist you in advancing all necessary procedures. I am sure that NGOs with this status will be happy to share their experience with you.

We will continue the highly regarded practice of including Russian non-profit organisations in the delegation at UNGA sessions. We have 19 domestic organisations giving us expert support at the current session which started last September and is due to close this coming September. Their number can be enlarged with representatives of the regional NGOs in attendance. They need to have the necessary skills and meet certain criteria. First of all, this includes command of a foreign language, understanding how international associations operate, and the ability to make presentations and argue their positions. I am confident there are a number of experienced colleagues here who can successfully join in this work.

We expect regional non-profit organisations to get involved in promoting Russia's priorities at European forums, including efforts to stand up for traditional values and the rights of ethnic minorities, develop inter-faith and inter-culture dialogue and prevent the politicisation of human rights issues.

In this context, cooperation with our country – through both official channels and non-profit organisations – in the Council of Europe must play an important role. This cooperation traditionally has been intended as a way to facilitate pro-active dialogue with civil society. Hopefully, the crisis in the Council of Europe that was triggered by a Russophobic minority will be completely overcome by getting back to the principles underlying the charter of this organisation, which requires that equal rights are given to the delegations of all countries which are members of the Council of Europe.

There are good prospects for work at the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe. Unfortunately, Russian civil society was poorly represented at the events it has held. I believe we need to build up our presence there through, among other things, non-profit organisations from the regions of the Russian Federation which specialise in human rights, including issues related to defending the rights and interests of our compatriots.

It is very important that you take part in OSCE events, in particular your efforts to convey objective information to the European public about what life is like in the regions across Russia, as well as about Russian civil society. The discussions at the OSCE regularly cover pressing matters, such as the violation of the right of people to use their native language, the violation of the right to education and freedom of religion, as well as the shameful phenomenon of depriving people of citizenship in Latvia and Estonia and the unacceptability of falsifying the history of World War II and the glorification of Nazis and their accomplices. Non-profit organisations from across Russia, many of which are engaged in scouting activities in their regions, could significantly contribute to these discussions.


We, at the Foreign Ministry, are open to dialogue and any proposals for joint projects. Our Ministry with support from Russian embassies and consulates abroad and the Foreign Ministry's representative offices in the regions of the Russian Federation will continue to help non-profit organisations promote international ties, including at the regional level. We will expand our practice of including representatives of public institutions in the official delegations that attend various international forums – not only the UN General Assembly but also other major events in which members of the public are invited to take part. We expect you to also come up with initiatives and tell us where the knowledge and experience accumulated by your organisations can be creatively applied. In turn, following today's meeting we will instruct our representatives in the regions to assist you, help you alert our ministry and the diplomatic missions abroad to your initiatives and ideas, and ensure oversight of the process of evaluating your proposals.

Today, you will have interesting discussions with the staff of the Presidential Executive Office and federal and regional executive bodies, as well as members of parliament, members of the Civic Chamber, leaders of civic organisations and foundations, experts, political scientists and my colleagues from the Foreign Ministry departments.

I believe this will be useful. I am sure this is not our last meeting with those who are present today and I would like to wish you every success.


You have a busy day today. There will be several panel discussions. I believe these will be interesting discussions and panel members will be very engaged, so you will pick up a lot of useful info for your day-to-day work. We will record and make a list of all the initiatives that you will come up with today and see what can be done and what measures can be taken to push your ideas forward. As soon as this work is done, we will certainly inform all the organisations that are represented today of the results. We will keep a close eye on all our future interactions.

Thank you very much and good luck.
Statement by Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia Sergey Naryshkin at the X International Meeting of High-Level Officials Responsible for Security Matters on "Guaranteeing National Security and Sustainable Social and Economic Development of States under Conditions of Growing "Hybrid" Threats", Ufa, 18 June 2019 (Выступление Директора Службы внешней разведки Российской Федерации С.Е.Нарышкина на 10-й международной встрече высоких представителей, курирующих вопросы безопасности, на тему «Об обеспечении национальной безопасности и устойчивого социально-экономического развития государств в условиях роста «гибридных» угроз», Уфа, 18 июня 2019 года) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: mofa, speech, national_security, top_level_meeting

Distinguished participants of the conference!

Ladies and gentlemen!

As the film that we have just seen shows, "hybrid" threats pose as a significant, and often a key, destabilizing factor for both specific countries and the system of international relations on the whole. One may say, this phenomenon is "as old as the hills". After all, confrontation between world power centres has historically taken a "hybrid" form - not boiling down to armed conflicts, it has always involved social, economic and spiritual spheres as well. In a sense, the Cold War, the Napoleonic Wars, and even the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage were all "hybrid".

Yet the present moment has a principal, qualitative novelty to it. In the 21st century, confrontation is taking place on the background of interdependency of states, peoples and individuals of a level unthinkable of in the previous times. Globalization, and information and technological revolution, have made the world very small. So small that risky ventures, to say nothing of mere rumours, engendered in one part of the world may cause a collapse of national currencies in another. Fake news duplicated by social and mass media have influence on regional and global processes. Wide spread of mobile Internet opens unseen-before possibilities to impact on human behavior and instincts in the most remote corners of the planet. Naturally, under these conditions the role of non-military tools in interstate relations is growing - which, however, does not deny the importance of possessing powerful armed forces. Many people believe that "soft" and "smart" power must rely upon "hard" one - that's the essence of a "hybrid" conflict. Supporters of this policy must base upon a well-known statement attributed to Al Capone that "with a kind word and a gun you can achieve much more than with merely a kind word".

"Hybrid" threats to national security manifest themselves most vividly in spheres where the level of integration of states and regions is particularly high. Thus, in economic field, unilateral sanctions and trade barriers contradictory to international law are employed. It's an open secret that in the cause of several recent years they became a favourite method of U.S. policy. Most alarmingly, restrictive regimes are introduced on an absolutely arbitrary, spontaneous, impulsive basis. Their initiators fail to take into consideration not only long-term consequences, but the opinion of the closest economic partners as well. The most recent dramatic example is inclusion into the American terrorist lists of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps - the very organization that has made a great contribution to the fight against the Islamic State on the territory of Syria and Iraq!

Extremely destructive is the practice of exterritorial application of American laws, when Washington, by simply prohibiting other countries to cooperate with players inconvenient to it, actually creates for itself competitive preferences in trade. In this way, sanctions strike not only those they are intended against, but also many other economic players who are forced to rearrange their economical activity and incur extra costs. Global chains of production and delivery of raw materials, goods and services break down, affecting negatively the whole of the world economy.

It seems abnormal that the United States, behaving so aggressively and unpredictably, remain the keeper of the main reserve currency. Against the background of objective strengthening of multipolarity, the monopolistic status of the dollar in international economic relations is becoming anachronistic. The dollar is gradually getting toxic. The use of the American currency is now associated with so serious risks that an increasing number of states justifiably think of looking for alternative tools for foreign trade operations and step by step move away from using dollar in international payments.

Still more destructive influence is brought by "hybrid" methods upon the sphere of public conscience and public conduct. Under the pretext of "emancipation of people", we witness a global process of aggressive erosion of traditional values, imposition of consumerism, formation of negative attitude towards any types of authority, in the first place towards the state. Belonging to a country and to a nation, values of family and faith - all these are brushed aside today in the name of abstract individual freedom. To promote this policy, a whole army of mass media, non-governmental organizations and transnational corporations is employed, as well as certain so to say "philanthropists" such as notorious George Soros.

The most outrageous is the fact that young people become the principal target of such manipulations. There are cynical attempts to steer towards negativism and destruction such qualities, inherent in the young people, as flatness of judgement and conduct, search for truth and justice. In his time, Dostoyevsky warned us against such development of the Russian and world history in his far-seeing novel "The Possessed". By now, these processes have gained unprecedented intensity and scope.

Not only the present and the future, but also the past becomes the field of an increasingly severe fight for the minds. It is a matter of trying to erase or to substitute the historical memory of countries and peoples. Lately, Russia faces growing efforts to downgrade the role of our country in the victory over nazism. Appeals that the USSR should share responsibility with Germany for the unleashing of the Second World War cannot but bewilder. Especially when they come from representatives of the countries, who were Nazi accomplices. And if someone is anxious about the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact", we shouldn't forget about the treacherous division of Czechoslovakia, preceding the Pact. Our country lost in that war no less than 26 million (!) people. And we won't let anybody insult their memory. No one is forgotten, and nothing is forgotten!

Our fathers and grandfathers were dying in the battlefields of a real war, our sons and grandsons become involuntary participants in "hybrid" conflicts. Such conflicts are certainly less bloody, but their consequences are no less atrocious, as they kill not only the body, but also the soul. The international campaign of drugs consumption propaganda, which is gaining momentum, is highly alarming. On the United Nations platform "drug liberals", headed by Canada, are going along the way of erosion of the global drug control regime. The Western scientific community and media actually advertise the use of cannabis and LSD as - just think of it! - an "effective means to boost self-esteem, to treat alcohol addiction and depression". Various programs promoting the rights of LGBT community and spreading the ideas of radical feminism are implemented in order to accelerate the process of diluting the notion of sex identity, the values of family and marriage. Hence it is not far from an open declaration of the necessity "to moderate" human nature, for example, with the help of artificial intelligence technologies or gene therapy. In fact, the trend is to transform people into isolated individuals with a constantly altered state of consciousness, suffering from neurotic disorders. It is clear that such individuals are ideal objects for manipulation, especially when they have networked "iPhones" in their hands.

A society, treated in such a way, is a perfect target for so-called coloured revolutions. During them the "hybrid" methods of influencing the opponent develop up to their maximum. To our regret, we have more than once witnessed the way all this is put into practice. On the territory of a country, chosen for the role of the victim, different network structures are created or developed - they can be public, artistic, scientific, religious, nationalistic, you name it. The most important is that they should have horizontal organization and retain significant independence from the state.

They are assigned the task of gathering data on actual and "smouldering" conflicts, contradictions between clans, acute social and economic problems. In parallel this network is used to impact the situation in the country and, if necessary, to start destructive processes. Meanwhile, any event can serve as a trigger: disruption of a peaceful demonstration, as in Libya and Syria, death of an "ordinary person" from the crowd, as in Greece and Tunisia, electoral "machinations", as in Georgia and Ukraine.

At a proper moment the protest waves spreading through the network get synchronized. The old political system collapses under the burden of multiple challenges, and the new force is brought to power. The same controlled channels are used to implant a new model of conduct into the public conscience. All this is accompanied by a wide-scale propaganda campaign in the world media, intended to convince the population of the lack of an alternative to the current course of events, and also to justify possible foreign interference in case it becomes necessary. One of the most illustrative examples of the realization of such a scenario can be seen in Venezuela.

In fact, the issue consists in working out a universal algorithm for conducting covert actions of influence in continuous mode and on global scale. This subversive activity never stops, it is aimed not only at enemies, but also at friends and neutral forces, it is performed under conditions of peace, crisis and war. It could be effectively compared with an activity of a virus: it can be destroying a human organism for decades without manifesting itself, and when it is discovered, very often it is too late to struggle.

Speaking of "hybrid" threats we cannot avoid mentioning such sphere as cyberspace. It is rapidly becoming a source of serious challenges to national security. Cyberspace has already turned into self-sufficient operational environment. It has got its own virtual economy, cryptocurrencies, special society represented by social networkers, and criminal «underground». The world is on the threshold of a real «digital revolution». It will not only provide sources of continuing growth for the global economy, but it may also fundamentally transform the planetary balance of geopolitical forces.

Meanwhile, any prospect of alignment of international legal standards of cooperation in this field is not yet visible. The main reason is that our Western partners seem to consider the cyberspace not as an area of cooperation, but as another scene of struggle against their geopolitical rivals - Russia, China, major regional powers. The new US cyberstrategy envisages the possibility of carrying out preventive cyberattacks. «The Paris appeal for trust and security in the cyberspace», presented last November during the Internet Governance Forum, also contains the idea about admissibility of interstate conflicts in the digital environment. Perhaps someone thinks that the cyberspace is an ideal battleground for «hybrid» wars. Using cybermethods one can destroy the infrastructures of entire nations, without spilling a drop of one's own blood. However, consequences of hostilities in this new, still unregulated by the international - community area can be unforeseen and extremely destructive, for the attackers themselves as well.

Another tool of «hybrid» war for global dominance is - however monstrous it may sound - the international terrorism. Unfortunately, we know examples, when, under the pretext of fighting this evil, direct, sometimes military, foreign interference into the domestic policy of sovereign states takes place. Selective accusations of terrorism support are a favorite pretext to organize international pressure on regimes that are «out of favor». No less irresponsible are attempts to divide terrorists into «bad» and «good», in other words into friends and foes, while manipulating both of them.

Something like that is now taking place in the Near and Middle East. So-called democrats have plunged Libya into anarchy and chaos. Now many in the West repent for what they have done, facing the flow of migrants from the former Jamahiriya. Billions of dollars were spent to support armed opposition groups in Syria, but the Western countries never succeeded in distinguishing «moderate» formations from «Jabhat al- Nusra» terrorists. Now these same extremists, trying to escape from the strikes of Syrian government forces, are beginning to flood European cities.

I would like to make a special emphasis on the fact that in the modern interrelated world it is mortally dangerous to flirt with terrorism. One may possibly expect that after abandoning the project of establishing a «Caliphat» in Syria and Iraq, the jihadist front would move somewhere farther from Europe, to Afghanistan or Central Asia, in particular. Especially if these estimations are corroborated by direct actions, for instance transfer of militants. Only let us not forget the example of Afghanistan, which has clearly shown that controllability of terrorist groups is relative, in the end, all the same, they go out of control and turn to be a threat to those countries that earlier supported them!

Maybe, the most dangerous thing in the present situation is the fact that the «hybrid» confrontation starts to corrode the very system of international relations that formed after the Second World War and served peace and stability for a long time on the planetary scale. We observe with concern our Western partners led by the USA gradually rejecting basic rules and multilateral modes even in such important questions of strategic stability as arms and WMD control. They interpret the international law at their own will, carrying out military attacks against the territory of sovereign states, killing tens and hundreds of thousands of civilians. But then, the notion of law itself was turned into mockery after the British introduced into legal practice the "highly likely" expression, which other Western countries considered sufficient for mass expulsions of Russian diplomats (and faced a mirror response).

In this context, many regional powers are taking a more aggressive stance. As a result, we see a chain reaction, the collective mechanisms for challenge response are getting further eroded. Weighed decision-making is being replaced with impulsiveness, self-interest approaches are taking the upper hand. There is an increasing risk of so- called accidental conflicts, breaking out because of unilateral and spontaneous actions of single players and being difficult to calculate.

Distinguished participants of the conference!

In the foreseeable future, the line between states of war and peace, between civil and inter-state confrontation will continue to erode. Broad masses of people all over the world will be dragged into conflicts of different scale. The "hybrid" war is threatening to become a part of everyday life, to be considered as "normality". This will undermine the very concept of deterrence, fundamental for the present system of global and regional security. As a result, even a small provocation might be enough to escalate tension up to an uncontrollable phase and trigger a global crisis. All international community players, while planning their foreign policy, should take into consideration the possibility of such developments to prevent the world from sinking into ultimate chaos.

Russia, the country that went through two disastrous wars in the past century - far from "hybrid" ones - tirelessly calls upon other international community players to overcome their self-interest ambitions and to resist the temptation of using "hybrid" warfare for geopolitical aims. It is now essential not to play "hybrid" games, competing who succeeds more in this process, but to engage in a dialogue over the ways of jointly reforming the global world order. Only the final drawing-up of multipolar architecture, based on equitable cooperation among various loci of power and integration groupings, will provide prosperity and security for all people. Only within "grater spaces", such as "Big Eurasia", "unified Europe", or, for instance, the Latin American civilization, independent progressive development of single, even small, countries can be guaranteed, free from the devastating impact of "hybrid" threats.

If the so-called "Collective West" lacks maturity and courage to get on the right side of history and follow that direction, the rest of the countries and peoples will have to design the global future without it. Russia is ready to take responsibility for this process. Together with our allies and friends in EAEU, CIS, CSTO, SCO, BRICS, we will follow the way of enhancing collective security both in Eurasia and globally. I'm sure, the adequate forces in the Western countries, who recognize the risks facing the international community and are ultimately concerned about self-preservation will be increasingly boosting up their involvement.

Thank you for your attention!
Investment and Finance
Investment and finance in BRICS
Putin calls for greater BRICS cooperation in energy security, reducing price volatility (Путин призывает к расширению сотрудничества БРИКС в сфере энергетической безопасности, снижению волатильности цен) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: vladimir_putin, economic_challenges, quotation

Moscow — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he is in favor of strengthening energy cooperation among the BRICS countries to ensure global energy security and reduce price volatility in the global energy markets.

"As BRICS participants are leading global consumers and producers of energy, our association could be more actively involved in issues of ensuring global energy security and universal access to energy," Putin said, during a meeting of the leaders of the BRICS countries ahead of the G20 Summit in Osaka. The BRICS group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"We also suggest discussing what can be done within the BRICS framework to harmonize world energy markets and reduce fuel price volatility," he said.

Earlier this month, the CEOs of Russia's Rosneft and China's CNPC called for greater cooperation for becoming a strong combined factor to influence the global energy markets, help ensure energy security, and counter protectionism.

Putin raised concerns about the current situation of the global economy, pointing to protectionism and politically-motivated restrictions and barriers as placing a heavy burden on international trade.

"There are weak indicators of business activity, an increase in global debt, high volatility on the financial, currency and commodity markets. Under these conditions, it seems that the BRICS countries should take the initiative in shaping a more equitable and sustainable model of global development on the principles of equality and respect for sovereignty, and taking into account the interests of all countries," Putin said.

Putin added that there are good prospects for cooperation on increasing the use of environment-friendly fuels, including natural gas, nuclear and hydropower, within the BRICS.
NDB to enhance Shanghai's role as financial center (НБР повысит роль Шанхая как финансового центра) / China, June, 2019
Keywords: ndb, economic_challenges

The New Development Bank, which is the first international financial institution to set up its global headquarters in Shanghai, had its structure ceiling ceremony on Wednesday, further helping the city to build itself into an international financial center.

The building of the NDB headquarters started in early September 2017 and is expected to be completed in September 2021. Covering a total construction area of 126,000 square meters in the eastern part of Shanghai, the 150-meter-tall building will be able to accommodate 2,000 employees when put into full use.

Ma Chunlei, director of Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, who is also in charge of the NDB building's construction, said that up to 60 percent of the electrical and mechanical equipment, as well as 80 percent of the curtain wall system, will be completed by the end of this year.

The municipal government of Shanghai is responsible for financing the NDB building's construction work.

The BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - signed an agreement in July 2014 to set up the NDB. The bank went into full operation in February 2016. The initial capital comes at $10 billion, with each member country holding a 20 percent share in the bank.

Chen Yin, executive vice-mayor of Shanghai, said that the deepened cooperation with the NDB will help Shanghai grow into an international financial center. By working closely with the BRICS countries and other developing countries, the city will improve and perfect its international currency system, making a greater contribution to the world's sustained development.

According to NDB President K.V. Kamath, the bank has attracted 150 staff from all BRICS countries. The board of the NDB has so far approved 37 projects in all five member countries aggregating about $10 billion, covering industries such as energy, transportation, infrastructure and environmental protection.

In addition, the NDB has raised 6 billion yuan ($873 million) from the interbank bond market in China. It is now also making renminbi loans to its clients in China. This will be replicated in other member countries as the NDB goes further down the road of local currency lending, said Kamath.

As the NDB has received AA+ ratings from international credit ratings agencies, it enables the bank to mobilize financing from global and domestic capital markets at competitive rates, he added.

During the Lujiazui Forum held in mid-June in Shanghai, Kamath said that Shanghai should take the chance of working with global financial institutions such as the NDB to build itself into a world financial center and the process will be much easier, thanks to the use of technology. By providing financial services to BRICS countries in renminbi, the NDB will also facilitate the internationalization of the renminbi, which is essential to Shanghai's role as a world financial hub.
NDB Board of Directors Convenes Its 19th Meeting in Shanghai (Совет директоров НБР созывает свое 19-е заседание в Шанхае) / China, June, 2019
Keywords: ndb, top_level_meeting

On June 25, 2019, the 19th Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the New Development Bank was held in Shanghai, China. At the Meeting, chaired by Mr. Marcos Troyjo, NDB Director for Brazil, the Board approved loans for two infrastructure and sustainable development projects from China aggregating to RMB 4.6 billion (approx. USD 667 million).

Ningxia Yinchuan Integrated Green Transport Development Project

The NDB will provide a loan of RMB 2.1 billion to the People's Republic of China for Ningxia Yinchuan Integrated Green Transport Development Project to be implemented in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The Project is aimed at developing a green bus system and will improve public transport services in Yinchuan Municipality through replacing all existing natural gas-fueled buses with electric buses, reducing emissions and saving energy. Components of the Project include: (i) procurement of electric buses and associated equipment; (ii) construction of bus lane and depots; (iii) development of intelligent transport management system; (iv) project management and capacity building.

Lanzhou New Area Regional Hub Multimodal Logistics and Transport Infrastructure Demonstration Project

The BoD approved a loan of RMB 2.5 billion to the People's Republic of China for Lanzhou New Area (LNA) Regional Hub Multimodal Logistics and Transport Infrastructure Demonstration Project to be implemented in Gansu Province. Rapid industrial development of the LNA has generated a high demand for logistic services and created impediments for further economic development. To address these challenges, the Project is aimed at reducing the logistics gap through building multimodal logistics infrastructure, connecting road, railways, and airport. Components of the Project include: (i) rail stations, rail tracks, and logistics parks; (ii) connecting roads; (iii) multimodal logistics information platform; (iv) capacity building, project management, and supervision.

During the Meeting, the BoD was briefed on the development of a robust and dynamic project pipeline and projects disbursements in all member countries of the Bank.

In line with the Bank's focus on local currency financing, the Board approved Local Currency Financing Framework.

The Board approved Audited Financial Statements for the New Development Bank for period ended March 31, 2019 as well as Audited Financial Statements for the Project Preparation Fund of the New Development Bank for period ended March 31, 2019.

The BoD reviewed Treasury Business Management Policy, Policy on Loans with Sovereign Guarantee and Policy on Guarantees.

On June 24, 2019, Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee of the NDB BoD, chaired by Mr. Enoch Godongwana, NDB Director for South Africa, considered matters pertaining to independent and internal audit, quarterly risk reports, policy review and update on compliance.

On the same date, Budget, Human Resources and Compensation Committee of the NDB BoD, chaired by Mr. Wencai Zhang, NDB Director for China, considered budget utilization for the period ended March 31, 2019 and discussed various HR-related matters.

Background Information

The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. To fulfill its purpose, the NDB will support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments. According to the NDB's General Strategy, sustainable infrastructure development is at the core of the Bank's operational strategy for 2017-2021. In August 2018, the Bank received AA+ long-term issuer credit ratings from S&P and Fitch.
BRICS New Development Bank approves 2 new projects for funding (Новый банк развития БРИКС утвердил 2 новых проекта для финансирования) / China, June, 2019
Keywords: ndb, investment

SHANGHAI, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) approved two new projects for funding, bringing the NDB's project portfolio funds to about 10 billion U.S. dollars.

The new projects, one to replace natural gas-fueled buses with electric ones in Yinchuan and the other to help reducing the logistics gap through building multimodal logistics infrastructure in Lanzhou, are both in northwest China.

The Shanghai-based bank has approved a total 37 projects in all five member countries aggregating about 10 billion U.S. dollars.

NDB President K.V. Kamath said the bank was preparing to issue bonds in other BRICS countries after two rounds of successful bond-issuing in China.

With the structure-sealing of the bank's permanent headquarters building completed in Shanghai Expo Park on Wednesday, the building is expected to start operation in September 2021.

The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The bank formally opened on July 21, 2015 in Shanghai.
Putin calls upon BRICS members to integrate payment systems (Путин призывает членов БРИКС интегрировать платежные системы) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: vladimir_putin, top_level_meeting, economic_challenges

The move would make BRICS banking systems more resilient to external influence, Putin said

OSAKA, June 28. /TASS/. The integration of payment systems of the BRICS group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will help to increase the security of financial transactions and contribute the transition to payments in national currencies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with his BRICS counterparts within the framework of the G20 summit in Osaka.

"Joint work to introduce the practice of using national currencies of our states in international payments looks promising. The integration of financial systems of the five nations and establishing an independent channel for exchange of messages between national banks could increase the security of financial operations," Putin said.

Putin said the issue was of extreme importance given the present-day situation, as it would make BRICS banking systems more resilient to external interference.

According to Putin, BRICS should play a more important role in the global financial system and to promote the reform of the International Monetary Fund.
World of work
Social policy, trade unions, actions
BRICS think tank symposium held in Beijing (Симпозиум ученых БРИКС прошел в Пекине) / China, June, 2019
Keywords: think_tank_council, social_issues

The first 2019 BRICS Think Tank International Symposium with the theme of global governance and multilateralism was held at Beijing International Studies University on June 26.

Scholars from the five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – reached a consensus that BRICS, which upholds the principles of independence, fairness and transparency, should play a more important role in global governance. Joint efforts are needed to defend multilateralism against the tide of unilateralism and protectionism for the sake of the interests of emerging and developing countries. The BRICS countries should comprehensively strengthen cooperation in fields such as trade, investment, the digital economy, technological innovation, energy and resources, and infrastructure.

In his keynote speech, Long Guoqiang, vice-director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, called for BRICS countries to make more efforts to promote reform of the World Trade Organization as representatives of emerging and developing countries. He said that WTO reform should seek common ground between developing countries and developed countries to balance the interests of WTO member countries and better promote improved global governance.

Luan Jianzhang (left), secretary-general of the China Council for BRICS Think Tank Cooperation, talks about BRICS think tank development at a media briefing, together with Liang Haoguang (right), executive director of the China Academy of the Belt and Road Initiative, and director of the Beijing Key Laboratory of Belt and Road' s Data Analysis and Decision Support, BISU.[Pan Yixuan/China Daily] "The principles of extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits that characterize the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative can promote fairer global governance," said Luan Jianzhang, secretary-general of the China Council for the BRICS Think Tank Cooperation.

At a media briefing, when asked whether the BRICS countries will still be cohesive in an unstable world with intensifying differences, Luan said the growth and potential of BRICS in the past 10 years enables it to step forward. Meanwhile, he stressed it is urgent for BRICS countries to actively and purposefully enhance coordination, particularly in scientific and technological innovation "that is of vital importance in the current period". And "the BRICS countries should figure out common values of their own".

Ji Jinbiao, president of Beijing International Studies University, called for strengthened people-to-people exchanges based on think tanks and colleges that can invigorate multilevel international cooperation in all areas.

Ji Jinbiao, president of Beijing International Studies University, gives a speech at the opening ceremony of the symposium. [BISU] Afterward, the participants discussed multilateralism as a defense against rising unilateralism, responsibilities and roles of BRICS in global governance, reshaping the rules of the global economic and trade system, and how BRICS countries can work together for improved global governance in the context of the new industrial revolution.

The China Council for the BRICS Think Tank Cooperation was the host of the symposium. Beijing International Studies University and the China Academy of the Belt and Road Initiative co-organized the symposium with the Beijing Key Laboratory of Belt and Road Initiative Data Analysis and Decision Support at Beijing International Studies University.

The 8th Annual International Universities Networking Conference + Edu Agency Workshop (8-я Ежегодная Евразийская конференция по высшему образованию + семинар агентства Edu) / Russia, June, 2019
Keywords: social_issues

The 8th Annual International Universities Networking Conference + Edu Agency Workshop, dedicated to the cooperation with universities of Russia and CIS countries, took place in Moscow, Russia. The event was attended by about 200 participants from 33 countries of the world, including all BRICs countries.

IUNC Eurasia 2019 conference is the annual international Higher Education event, aimed at the university cooperation development between Russian universities (and the CIS universities) and foreign institutions, as well as between universities and student recruitment agencies.

This year the main theme of the conference was "Internationalization via local partnerships and global cooperation". In the conference center of State University of management, the venue of the IUNC Eurasia 2019, representatives of universities, authorities, recruitment agencies from Russia and CIS countries, as well as India, Brazil, China, Switzerland, UK, Hungary, Sweden, Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey, Germany, Argentina, Ecuador, Iraq, Kurdistan, Nepal, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Cyprus, Tunisia and other countries discussed interuniversity cooperation, mobility of students and teachers, joint educational programs and recent trends in international higher education. This year participants of the conference talked about recruitment of foreign students, experience of students from BRICS countries who are studying in Russia, met with recruitment agencies interested in sending students to Russia and the CIS.

The Third Annual BRICS HigherEd Cooperation Forum was held as a part of the conference. The representatives of all BRICS countries discussed the opportunities of expanding cooperation between educational organizations within the BRICS group. The BRICS institutions have shown a special interest to teachers of Russian universities. Indian and Chinese HEIs offered Russian faculties some temporary job opportunities (3-9 months paid contracts). Indians and Chinese have looked for teachers of a number of disciplines and subjects. The Internationalization of the faculty experience and immersion in a foreign educational environment can have a significant impact at the teaching in general. It opens new opportunities for students and teachers, and motivates both sides.

The conference program consisted of speeches of the world's leading experts in the field of international higher education, reviews of the regional higher education markets, panel sessions, discussions, as well as a series of business meetings ("one-on-one" appointments) and cultural program.

Traditionally, in one of the evenings, the EEUA Award Ceremony 2019 – the third annual competition for the universities in the field of internationalization of higher education in Russia and CIS, was held.

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