Closing Russia


Dated Published: August 2023


Dr Nikonov; Nkibrics

Thank you, Chair, distinguished colleagues and friends. First of all, I'd like to thank our hosts for their unbeatable hospitality and for what they did for us by bringing us here and by providing the grounds for the most fruitful, interesting discussion and for yesterday's performance. It was really something. And that was the time to feel the soul of the people and also to feel the refinement of art and music of traditional indigenous culture, which resonate with the spirit of the nation and with the spirit of Bricks, I think. And yesterday and today I was thinking of how little we know about the cultures of each other. less than about Michael Jackson. And I think it's much better than Michael Jackson and worth knowing, worth learning. I had a chance to have a look at the bookstore here, and I just decided to check whether they have books on the BRICS countries. Well, they had some books on South Africa for sure. They had a couple of books on India published in the UK. There were no books on Brazil, zero. A couple of books on China published in the UK and the United States, mostly in the series of Killer and the Kremlin. I'm not for censoring the bookshelves in different countries, but actually that might be a similar picture, somewhat similar picture in Moscow bookstores, where you can find quite a few books on China, India, but very few books on South Africa or Brazil. And that's not about, again, censoring the bookshelves, but about the need for more research in each other. Actually, the academic forum at times demonstrated a very, very, I think, aggressive strategy of going in for the development of BRICS. We came out with the idea of BRICS. We came out with dozens of ideas, then implemented in the documents of the leaders. And now I think the major difficulty for us, a major challenge, and probably the major shortcoming is that we are, I feel, lagging behind the leaders. They are coming out with ideas. They're coming out with initiatives. And we oftentimes avoid discussions. Even here, we are academics. We have four discussions. And we avoid discussions of issues which the leaders have already put forward. I mentioned the need to know more about each other. That's an absolute must. And the South African idea about the BRICS University, I think it's a great idea, and it should be supported. that for some reasons there are reservations for some other delegations, and some delegations have reservations about almost everything, discussing issues which are not only about the present of the BRICS, but about the future of the BRICS. And there are, of course, some big elephants in the room, as it was mentioned in one of the sessions, which are worth discussing. Around 20 countries are now knocking at BRICS doors. They are sovereign, big, important countries. Should we ignore them? Should we just say, oh no, no, no, we're too exclusive for the rest? Or should we discuss the criteria for potential membership or formats for BRICS+? Should we discuss the possibilities of bringing some countries and rejecting some other countries or maybe accepting everybody who wants to or who feels our criteria, which we have not proposed yet? There are many forms of cooperation which are thinkable and which we avoid discussing. What we call in Russia integration of integrations. Each country present here is in the center of some integrative group. There is Mercosur in Latin America, there is African Continental Free Trade Agreement, there is SORC, there is Eurasian Economic Union, China is in the center of many international groupings. Dialogue, promoting dialogue between those groups, making us more important, having a wider outreach, I think it's important and worth discussing, maybe worth making a report on that: BRICS' role in conflict resolution. Today, President Ramaphosa said that he spoke with Russian and Ukrainian leaders and they came out with some peace proposals on behalf of a group of African countries. Conflict resolution. Be it Russia, NATO, Ukraine, or China, India, which is in the centre of many contradictions in this room. Sanctions. Sanctions are something imposed by the United Nations Security Council. There are lots of illegal sanctions. We are under more than 11,000 sanctions. Sanctions should ignore that or somehow currency what we do with hard currencies they call it card currencies again I returned to my yesterday's point about the language we use what is hard currency it's really hard to use now for Russians. If you have a MasterCard or a Visa card, you cannot use them because you're Russian, and that's it. The Russian citizens cannot use them. They're hard to avoid, of course, but they're very hard to get rid of. We definitely need hard currency, which would be supported by real economy and not financial bubbles. Actually, what we have now is a confrontation between the real economies which we represent, the economy of financial bubbles, which is the Western economy. And they say about the freedom of market economy and private property, but it's just a fake because they decide so. At the same time, the Western countries have lost moral authority. As I said yesterday and I'll repeat myself, they are not producing any values now. They're not producing any ideas. They don't have money, they can cause trouble. That's as simple as that. But they are still speaking about Western values being universal. But it's also a big fake. Because we know their values, racism, colonialism, Nazism, fascism. None of the above was invented in Russia or India, China, or Brazil, or South Africa. These are Western values. And we are capable of promoting the BRICS values, which are the values of an absolute majority of humankind. And this is equal rights of the people around the world, multi-parallel world and equal rights of the nations. Democracy as the opportunity to build the world in accordance with the will of your own people non-interference in domestic affairs of each other, freedom as independence from the external diktat, justice as truth, dignity and honor, respect to yourself and your partners, respect multiplicity of the world. Seeking for consensus and trying to find decisions at the

negotiation table.


And we, BRICS, are interested in joining all those who share those principles with us. And we cannot just ignore our other nations knocking at our doors. We are self-sustaining, but we are much stronger when we are together. And we are grateful for understanding even in difficult times because a friend in need is a friend indeed. And I finish by something which is absolutely predictable. I invite everyone present here to come to Russia next year because next year is the year of the Russian presidency. We know the place where the summit will take place because we want also to show the greatness of Russia and to make people acquainted with many parts in my country. So wherever it will be, I will try, of course, to beat the unbeatable hospitality of South Africa. Where though I think it's it will be very, very hard to do we'll try our best to welcome all of you, all our BRICS friends, to Russia in the year 2024. See you in Russia.


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