Why is India working against the BRICS?

BRICS added six new countries last year. The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia joined the group. Argentina said no, and Saudi Arabia is still thinking about it. But India is not happy with the new members and may reject more invitations in 2024.

Both Russia and China want more countries to join BRICS in 2024. They want a strong group to challenge the US, Europe, and their allies. But India thinks Russia and China are using BRICS for their own goals.

President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin. Credits: Getty Images

Russia and China want to use BRICS to get back at the US. India doesn’t like this idea. A source told Businessline:

“India wants BRICS to keep its original spirit of equal partnership.”

India wants to wait five years before adding more countries. They think the bloc needs time to adjust to the new members. This has been stressed in recent meetings of officials and sherpas.

Pakistan also wants to join BRICS in 2024. India is not happy about this. India and Pakistan have a long history of conflicts. Pakistan is getting help from Russia and China to join BRICS, which makes India uncomfortable.

Potential economic impact

The BRICS alliance could add $3.6 trillion to its GDP with the new members. They are looking at Southeast Asian countries as the next members. This could have big effects on the global economy.

Data shows the ASEAN nations have a collective GDP of about $3.67 trillion. The region is interested in joining BRICS and expanding its membership.

Why is India working against the BRICS?
Source: Statista

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in 1967. It includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Since 2019, ASEAN’s GDP has been rising and is expected to keep growing until 2029.

Adding ASEAN to BRICS could be a big boost. Bloomberg reported that several “Asia leaders” want to join BRICS.  Malaysia and Thailand are leading the charge.

They want to join BRICS to counter Western-led institutions.  Meanwhile, Russia and Iran are working on a new partnership treaty within the bloc.

Mohammad Mokhber, the First Vice-President of Iran

Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said Moscow is negotiating a big treaty with Iran. This follows a 20-year agreement from 2001, extended in 2020 for five more years.

Zakharova mentioned a new cooperation agreement between Tehran and Moscow. Since Iran joined BRICS last year, they have been strengthening their ties. Late last year, Iran and Russia agreed to trade in local currencies, leaving out the US dollar.

In January, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said a new treaty showing the “unprecedented upswing” in Russia-Iran relations was finally agreed upon.

Jai Hamid