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Is this non-alignment for the 21st Century as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt seek to join BRICS?

According to an interview with BRICS chief Purnima Anand in the Russian newspaper Izvestia, the three countries Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are expected to join the group's economic partnership.


 


"All of these nations have shown interest in joining and are getting ready to submit membership applications. BRICS president Purnima Annand said, "I believe this is a good step since expansion is always seen positively; this will increase the influence of BRICS in the world.


 


Iran, which has the second-largest gas reserves in the world, also applied to join the BRICS on June 28. Argentina has allegedly indicated an interest in joining the alliance, according to Russia.


 


The name BRICS, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, refers to an economic partnership between developing countries. They don't have a formal security alliance like NATO since India and China have significant territorial conflicts with one another. Instead, they serve as a platform for promoting economic cooperation through annual conferences.


 


Russian aggression against Ukraine has brought BRICS back into the spotlight as a rival economic power to the West. The alliance has been actively promoted by Russia as an alternative to the consensus in Washington.


 


China has been aggressive in its attempts to have the partnership expand. The BRICS summit was rescheduled from July 4 to June 23 at President Xi Jinping's request, placing it before the G7 and NATO summits in Germany. In addition, Xi compared the "large family" of the BRICS alliance to the "small circles" created around the West's hegemony during his statement at the 14th BRICS summit.


 


The potential inclusion of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt is intriguing given that all three nations were once thought to be Western allies due to the ever-expanding contrast between BRICS and the West.


 


Turkey is a crucial component of NATO. The greatest foreign buyer of American weapons is Saudi Arabia. Egypt and the United States have worked together militarily for many years.


 


This demonstrates that many Western allies do not consider the benefits of joining the Western alliance to outweigh the economic harm caused by Russia. For instance, Egypt has seen significant inflationary pressure as a result of the consequences of Russia's war in Ukraine. The inflation rate hit 15.3 percent in June, and fuel costs have sharply increased. IMF assistance has been requested by the Egyptian government. The Egyptian government may have the opportunity to pick between the BRICS pact and the IMF arrangement if it joins BRICS.


 


 


Some analysts in the West have seen BRICS as a sign that the world is dividing into various economic groups. A recent headline from The Epoch Times, a paper associated with the far-right Falun Gong, warns that "China and Russia seek to replace US dollar with BRICS currencies." China and Russia may be interested in achieving this, but as of now, they lack the financial resources and institutional capacity to overthrow the established dollar hegemony.


 


Currently, there is a lot of concern about the dollar's waning hegemony, especially in light of recent reports that Ultratech has started buying Russian coal with yuan. But the dollar has survived hardships in the past, and it is expected to continue to dominate for decades to come.


 


The real story of BRICS is that it will force developing nations to choose between getting support from the West and the BRICS, effectively reviving the non-aligned movement. During the Cold War, a collection of nations, primarily in the Global South, known as the non-aligned movement, refused to support either NATO or the Warsaw alliance. These states were often decolonial, considered preserving their sovereignty as their first concern, and were successful in playing both sides off of one another for steadily growing aid packages that aided in national development.


 


Effective developmental nationalist leaders Jawaharlal Nehru, Josip Broz Tito, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Kwame Nkrumah, and Sukarno created the initial non-aligned movement.


 


Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia joining BRICS while all three countries are still closely connected with the West imply the emergence of a new non-aligned movement. Washington may be upset that these nations are seeking further aid and trade opportunities, but they should not be shocked that nations will always put the needs of their citizens before the geopolitical objectives of the West.


 


Some of the most eminent academics in the Global South have been considering a new era of nonalignment for years. A collection of policy briefs named Nonalignment 2.0 was released in 2012 by a group of Indian defense academics.


 


The Russian invasion of Ukraine brought nonalignment to the fore, and both BRICS nations—India and South Africa—voted not to criticize Russia at the UN. Additionally, 58 nations, including several from the Global South, voted against Russia's removal from the UN security council. The Western-led economic order has not made these governments financially secure, even though these states may feel morally uneasy about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Even while it may not seem good politically, maintaining access to Russian markets and gas is in their best interests overall.


 


 


If Washington penalizes nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia for joining BRICS, they run the risk of forming true deglobalizedeconomic blocs, and Washington will simply have to accept non-alignment. Washington would much prefer a slightly more broken world than the one we currently live in, where nonaligned nations can still access Western markets and purchase Western weapons.


 


A new non-aligned movement is entirely rational, even while framing the response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as "you're with us or against us" is morally persuasive.


 


Washington needs to understand that not all nations will share their opinions and that America does not have the authority to choose which nations engage in trade. If President Biden is too stern with countries who want to join BRICS, it might hasten the development of a viable dollar-alternative currency.


 


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