Russia blames the US for the failure of its plan to isolate Moscow on the international stage

Iran and Argentina apply for BRICS membership

PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Khatibzade at a press conference in Tehran

The economic and trade alliance made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa is set to increase its membership. The governments of Argentina and Iran have expressed interest in joining the group, applications that members of the alliance will have to discuss in the coming months.

This follows the alliance's fourteenth summit in Beijing on Thursday. Argentine President Alberto Fernández was invited to attend, and hopes that Argentina's economic influence will increase with membership. "If this mechanism can be expanded further, it will definitely increase its influence and status in the international order," said Argentina's ambassador to Beijing, Sabino Narvaja, who also assured that cooperation would be "mutually beneficial and unconditional". 

The summit, which was held virtually, was the first to be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin since he invaded Ukraine. He challenged the West, blaming it for the current global situation: "Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation can we seek ways out of this crisis situation that has developed in the global economy due to the selfish and ill-conceived actions of certain states," Putin said.


This membership of an alliance to which Russia belongs increases US diplomatic pressure on Argentina, something that does not seem to matter to its diplomatic representatives. So much so that Narvaja has claimed that membership would build a more balanced world order, and that Russia's rapprochement is due to the help it received from Moscow and Beijing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Iranian government has also announced its intention to join the BRICS group. The Islamic Republic has applied to the alliance to position itself as an emerging alternative, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Khatibzade announced at a press conference. Iran has the world's second-largest gas reserves, and membership of the BRICS group "would result in added value for both sides".

For its part, Russia has advocated speeding up the membership summit in order to begin the process of enlarging the group as soon as possible. "It is important to define now the main aspects of the process and start discussing potential candidates," said Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, during a meeting of the alliance's representatives. 

In this regard, Russia is also banking on the need for Buenos Aires and Tehran to meet the necessary requirements for new membership. "We are positive about the possible expansion of this partnership, but it is necessary to define the procedures and requirements for potential candidates to join the BRICS group," said Russian presidential adviser Yuri Ushakov.


This possible membership of Argentina and Iran calls into question the isolation Moscow is facing over its invasion of Ukraine. "While the White House was thinking about what else to shut down in the world, ban or spoil, Argentina and Iran applied to join the BRICS," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The BRICS group represents more than 40% of the world's population and about 26% of the world economy. Among all its members, China is the largest economy in the group, accounting for more than 70% of the collective economic power, followed by India with 13%, and Russia and Brazil each with about 7%.

Americas Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.