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Number of States Seeking to Join BRICS and SCO Surges to 20, Lavrov Says

Several countries across the world have reportedly voiced their intentions to become members of the two blocs since the beginning of 2022. The member states of these intergovernmental organizations reportedly welcome their aspirations.

The number of countries applying to join the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has surged to 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated during a meeting with the regional heads of office of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"It's worth mentioning that over the past couple of years, including during the first year of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, the number of countries that want to join the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has increased dramatically. As of now, there are about twenty of them," Lavrov informed.

He added that many of those who have applied play an important role in their regions. These include Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Mexico and Egypt. The minister noted that the list of these countries itself clearly demonstrates "the failure of the West's attempts to isolate" Russia, which is member of both BRICS and SCO.

Attempts by the West to impose its will on everyone else, to impose its so-called rules on which it wants to establish and maintain a pro-western order are totally futile and absolutely hopeless.

The intentions of these states to join the blocs likewise reflect the failure of the West's strategy, which resulted in a "reverse effect." According to Lavrov, the understanding of the "geopolitical tectonic process" pushes the countries to cooperate with "like-minded partners." The main reason for this, he added, is that they are willing to be independent in their actions and in any partnership promote their own national interests first and foremost and "not someone else's whims."

In this light, cooperation with Russia, as well as with other member states of the regional blocs, provides "a huge field for interaction."

During the meeting, Lavrov also urged Russian regions to cooperate with the BRICS and SCO. According to the minister, there are already formats within these organizations that are aimed at regional interaction and cooperation between regions and provinces of the participating countries.

BRICS is an informal association of the world's major developing economies formed in 2006, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India and China, with South Africa joining the group in 2010. Potential candidates for accession include such countries as Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Turkey. These nations have expressed their interest in joining the group over the past months and years.

In particular, Algeria submitted its official application in November last year. In December, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune expressed hope that his country could join the alliance in 2023.

Earlier this month, the Russian foreign minister revealed that "Algeria, due to all its merits, is among the leading contenders" for BRICS membership.

[Source: By Maria Konokhova, Sputnik, Moscow, 27Feb23]

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