BRICS format is non-military – top Russian diplomat

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

MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) – The BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will not form a military alliance and will center its efforts on tackling economic and social issues, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

“I would like to reiterate once again that BRICS is not a bloc directed against third states. This principle was firmly and safely sealed by the Sanya Declaration in March 2011 and it became an element of the concept for Russia’s membership in BRICS,” Ryabkov said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Moscow’s position is that the BRICS format “is not intended for military-political and military cooperation,” he said.

“We are convinced that our association will continue enhancing its authority and influence in the world by “soft strength”, with the help of economic and social achievements of its member states, without creating any military alliance,” the high-ranking Russian diplomat said.

Russia views its BRICS membership as a key strategic priority of its foreign policy owing to two factors: the group’s ever-growing role in the international arena and the commonness of strategic interests shared by Russia and other BRICS member countries, Ryabkov said.

The next BRICS summit is due to take place in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 26-27.