POLICY STATEMENT: Vladimir Putin approved Policy Concept on Russia’s participation in BRICS

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Kremlin.ru – March 21, 2013)

The document defines the role of BRICS members in today’s international system and outlines the prospects for developing the association.

The Policy Concept sets forth the fundamental principles and contents of Russia’s foreign policy towards BRICS nations. Russia considers its work within BRICS one of its strategically important foreign policy priorities. The document also outlines specific objectives in key areas of cooperation for the association’s members, and defines the mechanisms for their implementation.

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Concept of participation of the Russian Federation in BRICS

I. General provisions

1. The Concept of participation of the Russian Federation in the
association 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 (BRICS) is a perception of principles, objectives and content of the
foreign policy activities of the Russian Federation regarding the association for
a long term period.

2. The Concept is based on the Constitution of the Russian
Federation, federal legislation, generally accepted principles and norms of
international law, international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a
party, policy documents adopted at BRICS summits, statutory instruments
regulating activities of the federal authorities in the area of foreign policy, as
well as the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, the Concept of
the Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation
through to 2020, the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation
through to 2020 and the Executive Order of the President of the Russian
Federation On Measures to Implement the Russian Federation Foreign Policy
(No 605 of May 7, 2012).

II. The role of BRICS in the modern system of international relations
and prospects of development of the association

3. The creation of BRICS initiated in 2006 by the Russian Federation
has been one of the most significant geopolitical events at the start of the new
century. In a short while, the association managed to become an important
factor of world politics.

4. The establishment of BRICS reflects an objective trend in the
global development, the one towards the formation of a polycentric system of
international relations, which is increasingly characterised by the use of noninstitutionalised
mechanisms of global governance and network-based
diplomacy, and the growing economic interdependence of states.

5. The BRICS authority in the international arena is based on the
growing economic power of the participating states, importance of their
activities as a major driving force of the global economy, their significant share
of the world population and their rich natural resources.

6. The political influence of BRICS stems from the fact that the
participating states are reputable members of leading international organisations
and entities, such as the UN, G20, G8, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group
of 77, etc., as well as regional associations (the Commonwealth of Independent
States, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the Eurasian Economic
Community and the Customs Union ­ for the Russian Federation; the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ­ for the
Russian Federation and China; the Union of South American Nations, the South
American Common Market and the Community of Latin American and
Caribbean States ­ for Brazil; the African Union and the South African
Development Community ­ for South Africa; and South Asia Regional
Development Association ­ for India).

7. The Russian Federation’s relations with its BRICS partners are
based on the UN Charter and generally accepted principles and norms of
international law, as well as principles agreed upon by the participating states,
such as openness, pragmatism, solidarity, non-bloc character and nonaggressive
nature with regard to third parties.

8. Prospects of BRICS development are determined by a number of
fundamental factors of long-term character facilitating the rapprochement of the
participating states, which include:

a) a common desire of BRICS partners to reform the obsolete
international financial and economic architecture which does not take into
account the increased economic power of emerging market economies and
developing countries;
b) their strong support for generally recognised principles and norms
of international law, as well as their rejection of power politics and politics
infringing on sovereignty of other states;
c) similarity of problems and challenges facing the BRICS
participating states in the economic and social areas and stemming from the
need for a large-scale modernisation;
d) complementarity of many sectors of economy of the participating
states.

9. At the same time, the scale, depth and dynamics of cooperation
within BRICS can be affected by centrifugal forces existing in the association,
as well as by negative influences from the outside.

10. Taking into account the contradictory and still evolving character
of factors affecting the development of BRICS, one of the objectives of the
Russian foreign policy towards BRICS is to facilitate in every possible way the
centripetal trends in the association and to neutralise negative factors.

11. The Russian Federation assumes that, subject to a firm political
will on the part of governments of the participating states to deepen
cooperation, the association can potentially become a key element of a new
system of global governance, first of all, in the financial and economic areas. At
the same time, the Russian Federation stands in favor of positioning BRICS in
the world system as a new model of global relations, overarching the old
dividing lines between East and West, and North and South.

III. Strategic objectives of the Russian Federation in BRICS

12. For the Russian Federation, the cooperation in the BRICS format is
a key long-term foreign policy vector. Through its participation in BRICS,
Russia is seeking to achieve the following strategic objectives:

a) based on common approaches by the participating states to
fundamental issues of the international monetary and financial system reform,
to facilitate making that reform more equitable, stable and effective in order to
provide a more favorable international environment for the development of the
economy and financial system of the Russian Federation and other BRICS
participating states;
b) building on the commitment by the participating states to the rule
of law in international relations, to progressively expand the foreign policy
cooperation with BRICS partners in the interests of peace and security with due
respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states and noninterference
in their internal affairs;
c) using participation in BRICS, to enhance the multivector character
of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation, thus strengthening international
positions of the country;
d) relying on the membership in BRICS, to develop privileged
bilateral relations with BRICS partners to make a fuller use of advantages
emanating from mutually complementary opportunities of cooperation among
the participating states in various spheres;
e) using participation in BRICS, to widen the Russian linguistic,
cultural and informational presence in major countries of the world, to which
belong BRICS members.

13. The existing friendly bilateral relations between Russia and each of
the BRICS participating states provide a platform for promoting Russia’s
cooperation with its BRICS partners in the multilateral format. Thus, the
Russian Federation believes that cooperation within BRICS on specific issues
should not replace the established bilateral relations between the participating
states.

IV. Russian Federation’s objectives in specific areas of cooperation in the
framework of BRICS. Mechanisms of their implementation

The sphere of international political cooperation

14. The main objectives of the Russian Federation in the field of
international political cooperation with BRICS partners are:

a) to enhance in every possible way interaction within the UN as well
as to preserve and strengthen the UN Security Council’s role as a body bearing
the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security; to
prevent the use of the UN, first of all the Security Council, to cover up the
course towards removing undesirable regimes and imposing unilateral solutions
to conflict situations, including those based on the use of force;
b) to promote, on the basis of common interests, proposals put
forward by the Russian Federation and other BRICS participating states at the
UN General Assembly sessions and in the Organisation’s bodies and specialised
agencies;
c) to increase cooperation in adapting the UN to the present-day
international realities. The Russian Federation supports the UN Security
Council reform in order to make it more representative while not diminishing its
expediency and efficiency and retaining the prerogatives of the current
permanent members of the UN Security Council, including their veto right;
d) to develop cooperation aimed at strengthening the primacy of
international law in world affairs and counteract trends leading to erosion of the
fundamental principles of international law and arbitrary interpretation of the
UN Charter provisions and the UN Security Council decisions;
e) to enhance cooperation in the protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms in the world, to step up coordinated actions within the
leading international organisations, especially the UN, as well as to jointly fight
against attempts to politicize human rights issues and activities of specialized
multilateral institutions;
f) to assist other BRICS states in settling differences that arise
between them when BRICS partners themselves are interested that the Russian
side performs such functions;
g) to establish an advanced system of mechanisms of foreign policy
cooperation that would include foreign ministers meetings, meetings of senior
foreign policy officials for discussing and preparing joint decisions on topical
international political issues, close collaboration between permanent missions of
BRICS participating states to the UN and other international organisations, and
regular expert consultations on international political issues.

Cooperation in the sphere of the international security

15. When promoting the dialogue and practical collaboration with
BRICS partners in this regard the Russian Federation proceeds from the fact
that this format does not provide for dealing with military-political issues and
for the creation of mechanisms of cooperation in the military sphere.

16. The main objectives of the Russian Federation in international
security cooperation with BRICS participating states are:

a) to coordinate positions on strategic stability, international and
regional security, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, settlement
of regional conflicts and the maintenance of regional stability;
b) to develop common or similar approaches to combating
international terrorism. This implies cooperation in strengthening the central
coordinating role of the UN in the fight against international terrorism,
implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, putting into
practice the universal anti-terrorism conventions, strict compliance with
provisions of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and the elaboration
of common positions on the fight against terrorism in relations with the League
of Arab States, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the African Union and
other regional organisations;
c) to agree upon approaches to combating illicit trafficking of narcotic
drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, including joint actions in
the UN and regional organizations;
d) to cooperate in ensuring international information security, to make
use of the BRICS potential for advancing initiatives in this regard within
various international forums and organisations, first of all within the UN;
strengthen, within BRICS format, cooperation in countering the use of
information and communication technologies for military-political, terrorist and
criminal purposes, as well as for purposes that run counter to international
peace, stability and security;
e) to cooperate in combating maritime piracy, build on joint efforts
aimed at establishing a judicial mechanism containing an international
component to ensure prosecution and punishment of pirates;
f) to cooperate with BRICS participating states in countering
legalization of illegal revenues and financing of terrorism in the framework of
the Financial Action Task Force and groups based on its model, including
bilateral ones;
g) to cooperate in combating illegal migration;
h) to develop a mechanism for dialogue and ultimately for elaboration
of common proposals and coordination of practical actions in the field of
international security. Such a mechanism would imply regular meetings of High
Representatives responsible for national security and expert consultations on
key complex international security issues.

Cooperation in the financial and monetary sphere

17. The Russian Federation assumes that collaboration between BRICS
participating states in reforming the international financial and monetary system
will remain a long-term priority for cooperation within BRICS. The Russian
side will pursue the following major goals in this field:

a) to contribute to bringing the world economy on the trajectory of a
strong, sustainable and balanced growth;
b) to complete the current stage of the International Monetary Fund
reform under the terms and conditions agreed upon by the G20 and the Fund;
c) to reform the global monetary and financial system in order to
create a more representative, stable and predictable international reserve
currency system;
d) to reduce the risks of destabilisation of currency and stock markets
of BRICS countries connected with mass transborder capital transfers to and
from these countries;
e) to use the BRICS capacities to strengthen the G20 ­ the premier
forum of international economic cooperation of its participants;
f) to augment the role of national currencies in mutual payments
between BRICS states and to develop cooperation in the area of financial
markets in order to improve the financial stability of BRICS states and their
efficient interaction on the basis of international principles and standards;
g) to strengthen and improve the mechanism of BRICS states’
cooperation in this area, which includes: regular meetings of the Ministers of
Finance and the Heads of Central Banks; regular meetings of the Sherpas of
BRICS states in the G20; expert consultations on current monetary and financial
issues relevant to the interests of BRICS states.

Cooperation in the sphere of trade and economy

18. In this area, the Russian Federation has the following key
objectives:

a) to create more favorable conditions for the promotion of mutual
trade, primarily in order to promote the Russian export, and the development of
investment cooperation with other BRICS states, including on the multilateral
basis;
b) to develop cooperation with BRICS states within international
organisations in order to jointly promote our common interests in the sphere of
international trade;
c) to develop cooperation on competition policy;
d) to develop interaction in the area of statistics in order to broaden
exchange of statistical data and experience in introducing international
statistical standards, as well as to issue joint statistical publications;
e) to assist in strengthening the Exchanges’ Alliance of the BRICS
countries;
f) to encourage establishment and to support activities of the BRICS
Business Council, and to promote a more extensive participation of the Russian
business community in business forums held by BRICS;
g) to encourage creation of independent rating agencies of BRICS
states destined to contribute to a more objective assessment of the market
position of the national companies and banks;
h) to strengthen and improve the mechanism of cooperation of BRICS
states in this area, which includes: regular meetings of the Ministers of Trade
and Economy; regular meetings of the Heads of Statistical and Anti-Monopoly
Agencies; cooperation at the level of Permanent Representatives of BRICS
states in the World Trade Organisation; activities of the BRICS Contact Group
on the preparation of proposals concerning the development of the forum’s
institutional basis and the broadening of economic cooperation.

Cooperation in the sphere of industry

19. The Russian Federation builds its interaction with its BRICS
partners in this area on the basis of national priorities in modernisation and
technological development of the economy as defined in the Concept of the
Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation up to
the year 2020.

20. The key objectives of the Russian Federation in developing
interaction with other BRICS states in the area of industry are as follows:

a) to encourage mutually beneficial cooperation in order to enhance
export capacities, primarily of the Russian aviation industry, energy
engineering, metallurgy, machine-tool industry, radio and electronic industry,
transport and special engineering;
b) to ensure necessary conditions for the import of modern equipment
from BRICS states to the Russian Federation and the transfer of technologies
facilitating development of high technology sectors;
c) to develop cooperation in production and utilization of mineral
resources in order to diversify export markets for this type of the Russian
produce, to attract investments of BRICS sates to the Russian economy for the
purposes of modernisation and development of the mining industry;
d) to promote cooperation in the pharmaceutics industry in order to
develop and produce modern medicinal drugs;
e) to actively participate in the emerging cooperation mechanisms in
the area of industry and initiate establishment of new ones.

Cooperation in the sphere of energy

21. The Russian Federation pursues the following key objectives in this
sphere of interaction with other BRICS States:

a) to ensure the energy security of the Russian Federation and of its
BRICS partners;
b) to diversify export energy markets on the basis of long-term supply
of energy resources;
c) to develop the legal framework for the international cooperation in
the area of energy;
d) to exchange experience and technologies in the area of energy
efficiency and saving, and renewable energy sources;
e) to carry out joint research on energy saving technologies, new and
renewable energy sources, and technologies for energy storage.

22. In order to fulfill these objectives the Russian Federation will
actively participate in the creation of mechanisms for the multilateral
cooperation of BRICS states in the sphere of energy, such as the Energy
Dialogue.

Cooperation in the sphere of science, technology and innovation

23. The main purposes of interaction between the Russian Federation
and the BRICS states in this sphere are:

a) exchanging information on science and technology policy and
programs and formulating joint long-term problem-oriented cooperation
programs on this basis;
b) encouraging research in the areas of primary interest for the
Russian Federation and other BRICS states, such as aeronautics, high-speed
transportation vehicles, microelectronics and information technology,
nanotechnology, food security and sustainable agriculture, biotechnology and
veterinary science, medical science, fundamental research, search for and
exploration of mineral resources, remote sensing of the Earth, climate change,
water resources and water treatment technology;
c) cooperating in the field of space research and the use of space
technology. As a first step, the Russian side proposes to establish a working
group for identifying areas of interaction in this sphere that are of interest to all
participating states;
d) providing organisational, legal, financial and staffing support for
cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation within the
framework of BRICS, which includes creating high-tech zones (science parks)
and incubators, forming common technology platforms, stimulating joint
investment in the development of high technologies, research and innovation
centers such as Skolkovo in Russia and similar centers in other BRICS states,
increasing interaction in the area of education, training of scientific personnel
and implementation of joint research programs;
e) strengthening and improving the mechanism for cooperation of
BRICS states in this area, including meetings of senior officials in science and
technology, a network of national coordinators for cooperation in the science
and technology sphere.

24. The Russian Federation supports development of cooperation in the
field of science, technology and innovation not only between the five BRICS
states, but also within the framework of multilateral groups with fewer
participants, involving the states that are not members of BRICS, if mutual
interest is present.

25. The Russian Federation promotes industrial, scientific and
technological cooperation within the BRICS format in strict compliance with its
international obligations.

Cooperation in the sphere of agriculture

26. The main purposes of participation of the Russian Federation in
cooperation with the BRICS partners in this sphere are:

a) expanding mutual trade in agricultural products with a focus on
increasing Russian exports to these states; attracting their investments in
domestic agriculture to accelerate its modernisation;
b) ?nsuring, on the basis of cooperation, food security of the Russian
Federation and of other BRICS states, and participating in ensuring
international food security;
c) exchanging information on policy in specific agricultural sectors,
on investment policy in the agricultural industry, on prices and volume of
production, processing and consumption of basic agricultural products;
d) cooperating with other BRICS partners for adaptation of agriculture
to climate change;
e) jointly developing new agricultural machinery and technologies,
including biotechnologies, to improve agricultural productivity;
f) actively using the existing mechanism of cooperation in this sphere,
which includes regular meetings of the Ministers of Agriculture of the BRICS
states, activities of the Working Group on Agricultural Cooperation of the
BRICS States.

Cooperation in the sphere of healthcare

27. The main objectives that the Russian Federation is pursuing in
cooperation with other BRICS participating states in the area of healthcare are
as follows:

a) to use the mutually advantageous cooperation for strengthening the
national healthcare system and to improve the access of the population to high
quality, effective and safe drugs, vaccines and other healthcare products;
b) to enhance cooperation with BRICS participating states in the area
of introduction and use of innovative and effective medical equipment and
technologies;
c) to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between BRICS
participating states in a broader context of interaction in the framework of
international organisations, including the World Health Organisation, UNAIDS,
the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Global
Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation;
d) to create effective joint mechanisms to fight infectious diseases and
to ensure the safety of food, including the exchange of information on the
sanitary and epidemiological situation in BRICS participating states and on
measures being taken by them to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and
to ensure food safety;
e) to strengthen and develop the existing mechanism of cooperation in
the area of healthcare, which includes regular meetings of BRICS Health
Ministers and the Working group on healthcare.

28. The Russian side is in favor of supplementing the healthcare
cooperation mechanism with direct contacts between specialised national
research institutes to arrange for an exchange of scientific information and best
practices regarding the creation of healthy lifestyles and non-infectious disease
prevention, mother and child healthcare, sanitary and epidemiological wellbeing
of the population, and prevention and elimination of epidemic consequences of
natural disasters and emergencies, as well as to organise specialised training in
that area, especially for young scientists.

Cooperation in areas of culture, education and sports,as well as youth and regional exchanges
Facilitating contacts between non-governmental organisations

29. The Russian Federation gives high priority to the development of
cooperation in this sphere in the BRICS format. Such a cooperation is an
important tool of raising the awareness of the peoples of BRICS participating
states regarding history, modern life, culture and traditions of each other which
promotes mutual understanding.

30. Primary objectives of the Russian Federation in this area are as
follows:

a) to lay down a legal and organisational foundation for multilateral
cultural cooperation among BRICS participating states. To this end, the Russian
Federation proposes to sign an international agreement on cultural cooperation
among BRICS participating states and to hold regular multilateral cultural
events in connection with BRICS summits and other major forums. The Russian
Federation is in favor of holding regular meetings of BRICS Ministers of
Culture as a mechanism to promote and coordinate multilateral cultural
cooperation in the framework of BRICS;
b) to promote active cooperation with other BRICS participating
states in the framework of UNESCO;
c) to facilitate, on a reciprocal basis, the expansion of scientific,
academic and student exchanges between higher education establishments of
BRICS participating states, including with the use of advanced distancelearning
technologies and distributed data bases;
d) to use the multilateral dialogue in the BRICS framework to address
the issue of concluding intergovernmental agreements on mutual recognition
and equivalence of educational diplomas and academic degrees with BRICS
participating states;
e) to promote cooperation through civil society institutions (in the
Russian Federation ­ with reliance in the first instance on the Civic Chamber of
the Russian Federation);
f) to facilitate the organisation of multilateral events by youth
organisations of BRICS participating states;
g) to promote learning of the Russian language in BRICS partner
states using the existing network of Russian language and culture centers and
cooperation agreements between state universities of the Russian Federation
and universities of other BRICS participating states;
h) to gradually create a common information space between BRICS
participating states. In this context, the Russian Federation favors the
development of cooperation, including the exchange of programs on both
bilateral and multilateral basis, between radio and television broadcasting
companies of BRICS countries. In 2013-2014, a recurrent publication on
BRICS activities is to be initiated in the Russian Federation;
i) to promote the exchange of experience in organising major
international sporting events, building modern sports facilities and developing
sports infrastructure; to hold joint training sessions for high-performance
athletes and paralympians; to organise sports exchange programs between
children’s and youth divisions;
j) to develop mechanisms of interaction between BRICS participating
states in the area of tourism, including, first of all, through metropolitan tourist
organisations, to promote tourist products on the basis of mutual advantage;
k) to promote multilateral relations on the regional level, including
through the BRICS Forum of Regions and Municipalities.

V. The approach of the Russian Federation to the strategic development of BRICS

31. The long-term objective of the Russian Federation’s participation in
BRICS is to gradually transform the association from a dialogue forum and a
tool to coordinate positions on a limited range of issues into a full-fledged
mechanism of strategic and ongoing cooperation on key international political
and economic issues.

32. To reach this overall objective, the Russian Federation suggests the
following measures:

a) in the next three to four years, to focus efforts of BRICS
participating states on boosting their cooperation within BRICS in its present
numerical composition.
b) to create within the framework of BRICS a system of informal
political and working-level mechanisms to strengthen coordination in all areas
of activity, to ensure continuity in the work of the association in the context of
rotation of the Presidency and to enhance dialogue on new directions and forms
of cooperation;
c) to elaborate a BRICS development strategy defining the
Association’s long-term objectives, operating principles and cooperation
mechanisms;
d) to start a dialogue on ways, pace and concrete forms of possible
institutionalisation of BRICS, considering, inter alia, the issue of creating a
permanent secretariat;
e) to promote external relations of the association through establishing
dialogue with leading developing countries, the UN agencies as well as with
regional organisations.

VI. Scientific and staffing support for the Russian Federation’s participation in BRICS

33. Taking into account the novel and complex nature of issues related
to the Russian Federation’s participation in BRICS, an important task of relevant
institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences is to engage in an in-depth study
of economy and domestic and foreign policy of BRICS countries and to develop
in that context an independent area of research of this inter-state association.
Particular attention should be paid to providing comprehensive assistance to the
National Committee for BRICS Research.

34. An important task for state higher-education establishments of the
Russian Federation is to expand country- and language training programs to
provide personnel for ensuring the Russian Federation’s participation in all
aspects of BRICS activities.