On Wednesday, in an interview with the TASS news agency, Pakistan’s newly minted Ambassador to Russia, Muhammad Khalid Jamali, has announced that Pakistan is applying to join the BRICS alliance of developing economies,

He noted the application had already been submitted, and the nation was counting on Russia to aid it with the process of being admitted. In 2024, Russia will assume the chairmanship of the BRICS alliance.

The ambassador said, “Pakistan would like to be part of this important organization and we are in the process of contacting member countries in general and the Russian Federation in particular for extending support to Pakistan’s membership.”

The BRICS alliance presently encompasses Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In January it is expected that the alliance will be joined by  Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, although the new Argentinian president, Javier Milei, has signaled he may choose not to follow through on joining, to forge closer economic ties with the West. Analysts who have examined the numbers have pointed out that the new expanded BRICS alliance is already larger than the G7, the alliance of advanced economies which includes the US, Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan.

According to the 2023 Chair of BRICS, South Africa, over 40 nations have now expressed an interest in joining the alliance. In early October, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that in preparation for the upcoming summit in Kazan in 2024, the alliance will compile a list of candidate nations for partner-state status. He noted that during the chairmanship of Russia, BRICS will place a focus on enlarging the “circle of BRICS friends,” particularly in Latin America.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with China Media Group that one of the foundational pillars underlying the expansion of BRICS was a global multipolarity principle. He went on to explain that BRICS membership offers nations a platform where they can maintain their autonomy, and form relations with other nations based on principles of equality, rather than finding themselves pushed to the sidelines of the global marketplace, and forced to act on the arbitrary whims of “some sovereign.”

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