An article by: Tommaso Baronio

The alliance of the five “southern hemisphere” countries – Brazil, Russia, In-dia, China, and South Africa – defeats bipolarity, opening the door to a multipolar world.

There are those who define the BRICS alliance as “useless,” while being totally unaware of the reality we live in. The five countries of the “south of the world” – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – are joining forces to open up a process that Western logic does not understand, pursuing geopolitical strategies that differ from the classic bipolarity, which has been talked about for 50 years.

The talks about this group started in 2001, and while back then it represented only 16% of world GDP, today the percentage has nearly doubled, reaching 31.5%. The IMF predicts that soon, in 2025, the weight of the alliance countries will reach 40% of global GDP. And if you place them near the G7 countries, it becomes obvious that the distance is shrinking fast. While in 2001 the purchasing power of BRICS was 18.8%, and the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Great Britain, USA) managed 42.8%, twenty years later these figures turned upside down: G7 accounts for only 29.6%, while BRICS  is 32%.

This data speaks of a completely different reality than the one presented to us daily by sophisticated geopolitical analysts, who clearly have a hard time accepting that the world is changing so quickly.

The beginning of the conflict in the heart of Europe between Russia and Ukraine drew attention to the role of BRICS. Its countries have never directly provided weapons to Russia and advocated a peaceful solution, but no one – not China, not Brazil, not India, not South Africa – has joined the sanctions imposed by the West to hit Putin. They intensified trade exchange with Moscow. Beijing began to buy Russian coal and oil in yuan, while India simply paid directly in rubles.

And the much-discussed de-dollarization has become a well-founded hypothesis. This is indeed one of the goals that unite the BRICS states, and even Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the IMF, predicted that “sanctions threaten to weaken the dominance of the dollar and could turn into the most fragmented international monetary system.”

A few days ago, news leaked from the Chinese media that BRICS was planning to introduce a new commercial currency. It will be called R5 and could be based on gold and other raw materials. The name would be the result of a coincidence: all the coins of the BRICS countries begin with an R: yuan (renminbi), ruble, real, rupee, and rand. Such a transition would allow the mentioned countries to gradually increase their trade ratio without using the dollar and therefore reduce the share of their own international reserves in dollars.

Leslie Maasdorp, vice president of the New Development Bank, has reduced the significance of all this, defining it as “medium-term goal,” but the path has been set and seems to be the only and serious threat the US dollar should be afraid of, also due to the population represented by the BRICS countries – 3.2 billion against 950 million in the countries under the NATO umbrella.

The West tried to enter into relations with BRICS regarding peace in Ukraine. Lula, the President of Brazil, was very clear, “If I had sent weapons, I would have joined the war. I don’t want to join the war, I want peace,” he said during a visit to Washington DC.

US President Joe Biden also tried to reach out to Indian President Narendra Modi to ask his country to join the encirclement of China along with the US-Japan-Australia coalition, QUAD. But the result was again negative.

The Germans and the French were also unlucky: the former, at a meeting with South Africa, failed to convince the country to shake the Russian influence, and the latter, in their request to be allowed to participate in the Johannesburg summit, received a firm “no” answer.

So, from one side, the West is trying to start a constructive dialogue, and on the contrary, the rest of the world wants to join the coalition, particularly after the start of the war in Ukraine. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe have expressed their interest in entry. Numerous and diverse countries, with different goals and history. Maybe they will not join the coalition, but the fact that it is becoming so attractive at the global level is essential.

And it seems that only in the West, BRICS is not given the deserved attention.


Tommaso Baronio