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Serbia may apply to join BRICS in 2024

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

By Rhod Mackenzie

The Serbian parliament has called for a public debate on the possibility of the republic’s entry into the BRICS alliance. At least three political parties are in favour of joining the structure, one of which is part of the ruling coalition, according to a an MP in the Parliament. In general, Belgrade is interested in taking this step, but due to Western pressure on the country’s current government, any application for membership can be expected only at the earliest in 2024, said the MP Ivan Kostic. The Russian Embassy noted that Belgrade has spoken out very positively about the strengthening of the BRICS in global affairs.

Immediate prospects

This year was marked not only by the expansion of Western coalitions, including NATO, but also by a sharp increase in the desire of many countries to join the BRICS alliance . At the summit held in South Africa in August, it was decided to officially to make six countries new members join: they are Argentina, Egypt, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. In addition, another 17 countries have submitted applications plus several others have expressed interest in joining.

The countries interested are not only those in the so called ‘global south’ but also some in Europe are looking to BRICS. In June, the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic admitted that in the future the people of his country may have to choose between joining  the EU or the BRICS.

” Serbia is interested in joining BRICS, but the process is only just beginning. In the Serbian political arena, in addition to the Dveri and Zavetnitsa parties, the Socialist Movement (part of the ruling coalition ) is also in favour of joining BRICS. It is necessary to open up  a public debate in Serbia on the issue of joining the association,” Ivan Kostic, a member of the People’s Assembly from the Dveri party said.

Incidentally, at the end of August the Socialist Movement submitted a proposal to parliament to adopt a resolution on Belgrade’s accession to BRICS.

However, in order to intensify the political discourse on possible integration into the BRICS, it is necessary that as many Eurosceptic parties as possible enter the future government, the politician added. According to him, President Vucic and the current cabinet cannot submit an application at the present time due to the pressure coming from the collective West.

“I hope that after the 2024 parliamentary elections, the question of Serbia’s membership in BRICS will become a realistic option,” Kostic added.

Zoltan Dani, a member of parliament from the Socialist Party, which is also part of the ruling coalition, also recognised that the republic is under almost daily pressure from the Western bloc.

“Now we must try to preserve as much as possible the results and positions that have been achieved. Hence the peace in the Balkans, which is nevertheless subject to daily attacks and provocations. “We have almost no time to think about other options,” he said.

However, Dani is confident that the BRICS issue will be discussed in the near future and that all possible options will be considered.

The programme coordinator of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Milan Lazovic, also predicted that Belgrade would apply to join the association after the parliamentary elections. However, another question is when Serbia will be admitted to BRICS.

“The application will be submitted, but it will take quite a long time to be considered, so it is premature to talk about joining in the near future,” the analyst noted. – The costs are mainly related to Serbia’s position. While it wants to pivot towards the East, including being part  BRICS, Belgrade is at the same time interested in maintaining a balance towards the West, with the EU  and, to a lesser extent, the United States.

In the current international situation, when any contact between European countries and “non-Western” countries is perceived very sharply, such a step by the Serbian authorities would certainly  be met with hostility, the RIAC programme coordinator added. At present, Serbia is not interested in any escalation of hostility towards the West, so it is possible that integration into BRICS could be blocked by forces within the republic, Lazovic admitted.

Policy diversification

Serbia, which was granted candidate status for the European Union in 2012, is still the only country in Europe that has not joined the restrictions and sanctions against Russia, and is therefore under constant pressure from Brussels and Washington.

“It has also maintained direct flights to Europe, which are used by a large number of people despite their high cost. It has retained most favoured nation status for Russian business. This is also a country where Gazprom is the majority shareholder of the main oil company and nothing has changed despite European sanctions,” said Oleg Bondarenko, founder and editor-in-chief of the portal.

Despite the fact that there were no representatives of Serbia at the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg on 22-24 August, the republic’s authorities were very impreesed by the outcomes of the event, commenting positively on the strengthening of the role and authority of this structure in global affairs, according to a statement form the Russian Embassy in Belgrade.

“Like the BRICS member countries, Serbia is committed to building a fairer and more balanced  world order with the central role of the UN and is in favour of cooperation between sovereign states based on the principles of international law, the spirit of equality, solidarity, mutual respect and balance of interests,” the diplomatic mission added.
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Serbia may apply to join BRICS in 2024

By Rhod Mackenzie The Serbian parliament has called for a public debate on the possibility of republic’s entry into the BRICS alliance. At least three…


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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