Putin looks to use BRICS summit to shift balance of power

07/07/2015

Vladimir PutinThe leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa begin gathering in the remote Russian city of Ufa today for this week’s BRICS summit when they will, among other things, launch the new $50bn BRICS Development Bank and finalise details for a $100bn contingency currency reserves pool. The mood in Ufa is likely to be celebratory, and will surely be in stark contrast to the atmosphere in Brussels where Europe’s leaders have convened for emergency talks aimed at resolving Greece’s debt crisis.
But even before it transpired that the Greek denouement would give the Ufa summit some added symbolism, President Putin had every intention of using the hosting of the summit to demonstrate that Russia is not as isolated on the world stage as the US and its Western allies would like to think. Or as dependent on Western capital, for the new bank is central to the BRICS countries’ efforts to redress the balance of economic power.
“We will make our two biggest institutions operational [in Ufa],” a Brazilian official involved in the preparations for the meeting said yesterday. “Nobody thought that was going to be possible a year ago when we ratified the proposals.”
While independent foreign policy experts say the BRICS group is still a long way from achieving this rebalancing of the world order and Russian ties with China remain less developed than Moscow would like, Putin also plans to use the summit to remind the world of the extent of Russia’s influence on the global stage. Ufa will this week also play host to a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO),the security grouping that brings together China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and which India and Pakistan are set to join.
As well as having one-to-one meetings with his BRICS counterparts, Putin is also scheduled to meet the leaders Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Belarus, and to attend a trilateral meeting between Russia, China and Mongolia.
Meanwhile in Brussels…..

Source: cnbc