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During a joint press conference in Moscow with visiting Argentinian Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, Lavrov said that the issue had not yet been tabled for discussion by BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa – leaders.
“As far as the possible expansion of BRICS is concerned, this issue requires consensus in this organization. So far, no ideas have been voiced about planning further expansion,” he told reporters.
Lavrov was responding to news reports earlier in the month which quoted India’s Ambassador to Argentina, Amarenda Khatua, who said that Buenos Aires had expressed interest in joining the powerful bloc, and that BRICS countries welcomed the idea.
In a previous statement made to The BRICS Post, India’s Ministry of External Affairs denied that there were any immediate plans for expanding the bloc.
In recent weeks, economic analysts in Africa had suggested that Nigeria was ready to join BRICS. And last year, during his visit to India, then Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had suggested that his country should join BRICS.
Late on Wednesday, Timerman confirmed Argentina’s interest:
“Obviously, we are interested in developing relations with BRICS in international politics. We will surely continue working with BRICS, G20 and other venues … but it is up to BRICS to decide on the agenda, not Argentina,” he said.
The Argentinian foreign minister said he looked forward to signing a number of bilateral agreements regarding nuclear power for civilian use, trade and scientific cooperation.
“During the meeting, we thoroughly studied bilateral and international relations, including regional problems,” Timerman said in statements carried by the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.
“We’re confident that it is necessary to build relations on a multi-polar basis. It is unacceptable to use the policy of double standards,” he added.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies