The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is expected to elevate India and Pakistan as full-fledged members at a meeting of the grouping next month. The move is seen as a strategic one by Russia and China, principal architects of the Eurasian organisation, to use it to counter-balance the perceived ties of both the South Asian countries with the US.
Meanwhile, the July 7 edition of the BRICS summit, to be held in Russia’s Ufa, which coincides with the SCO meeting for the first time since 2009, will aim to arrive at an understanding on a BRICS rating system, the contingency reserve arrangement — an effort for early harvests — an energy association and plans for a BRICS space station.
On April 1, the day Russia assumed the presidency of the BRICS, Russian President Vladmir Putin had announced that in addition to strengthening global security and stability, BRICS would focus on the group’s Strategic Economic Partnership and will facilitate the launch of the New Development Bank and the Currency Reserve Pool.
Chairman of the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, JNU and director of Delhi-based Eurasian Foundation Arun Mohanty, told FE, “During this edition of the BRICS summit, the focus is more on economic relations, and that is why Russia is coming in with a very heavy economic agenda. In fact, a lot of proposals are being floated including having an energy association of the BRICS and a BRICS space station.”
The energy association, which is likely to be set up in collaboration with Russia’s state-owned nuclear body Rosatom, will include a fuel reserve bank and an energy policy institute. The energy association will seek to guarantee energy security of member countries and conduct integrated research and analysis of global markets.
“Since India and China are major consumers in the energy sector, this association will help both countries strengthen their energy security,” added Mohanty. The association includes a fuel reserve bank and an institution for energy policy. The energy policy institute will also help drive research about the global market for hydrocarbons.
“The grouping will earnestly plan and design practical cooperation among BRICS nations by formulating the strategy on economic partnership among BRICS countries, intensify coordination in global affairs including the post-2015 development agenda, negotiation on climate change, reform on financial system and cyber security, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of emerging markets as well as other developing countries,” according to Oliver Stuenkel, assistant professor of international relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo.
The BRICS Bank, launched last year during the sixth edition of the BRICS summit in Brazil, will fund infrastructure projects in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and challenge the dominance of the Western-led World Bank and the IMF.