Monday, June 24

Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov at the BRICS Ministerial Council Meeting, Nizhny Novgorod, 10 June 2024

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Dear colleagues and friends,

I would like to open our meeting with a minute of silence in memory of the untimely deaths of the President of Iran, S. E. Raisi, and our colleague H. Amirabdollahian, and once again to offer our deepest condolences to the people of Iran and the families of the victims. I ask everyone to stand.


Honourable colleagues,

We are pleased to welcome you to one of the oldest cities in Russia, Nizhny Novgorod, which has a history of more than 800 years. Today’s meeting will undoubtedly leave a special mark not only in the annals of the leading international events of the city, but also of BRICS itself. For the first time, the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers is being held in a new enlarged format.

The expansion of the BRICS is a clear confirmation of the process of formation of a multipolar world order. New centres for the adoption of globally significant political decisions are emerging among the states of the Global South and East, among the states of the World Majority. These countries are in favour of a more equitable order based on the sovereign equality of states and civilisational diversity.

The transition to a new world order (as we have already seen) will take a whole historical epoch and will be thorny. The US and its allies do not abandon their attempts to retain their elusive dominance and slow down the objective processes of multipolarity formation. At the same time, they are using economic instruments as weapons – through sanctions pressure and financial blackmail they are trying to influence the choice of development models and trade partners by sovereign states. The West is not reluctant to use force. Everyone knows the examples: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine and a number of other countries. And this is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

Recent international events have ‘unmasked’ those who have hitherto claimed in words almost an exclusive right to define ‘universal values’ under the guise of ‘rule-based order’. Proponents of this concept are trying to impose norms and mechanisms of interaction that are beneficial only to them, to replace equal honest dialogue with narrow coalitions acting in a closed manner and arrogating to themselves the right to speak and act on behalf of the entire world.

Russia, like the countries of the global majority, is in favour of a fairer world order based on the sovereign equality of States and taking into account the balance of power and interests. Together we aim to promote a future-oriented, constructive international agenda. An important task in this context is to strengthen the role of interstate formats that advocate collective approaches to international development.

BRICS is one such association where the principles of equal co-operation – mutual respect, openness, pragmatism, solidarity, continuity and, of course, consensus – are realised in practice rather than in words. I am convinced that the BRICS is driven forward by the winds of change, as its role in addressing global challenges will only increase. This is confirmed by the steady growth in the number of countries showing genuine interest in joining the work of our association. In this context, we look forward to productive discussions at a separate session today with the participation of a number of like-minded BRICS countries.

Distinguished colleagues,

The Russian Chairmanship is building momentum. Some 70 events have already taken place, with more to come. We note the constructive participation of all partners in them. Work has begun on key Russian initiatives in the transport sector, the establishment of the Contact Group on Climate and Sustainable Development, the Working Group on Nuclear Medicine, and the Medical Association.

Active work is underway to fulfil the decisions of the Johannesburg Summit 2023, in particular with regard to improving the international monetary and financial system and developing a platform for settlements in national currencies for mutual trade. In accordance with the instruction of the leaders at the Johannesburg Summit, we pay special attention to agreeing on modalities for establishing a category of partner states.

Our agenda is extensive. It includes issues that will directly affect the future world order, the formation of its fair foundations.



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