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Putin bats for BRICS energy platform, unity against protectionism
September 1, 2017, 4:44 am

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, third right, and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, left, at a a BRICS event on 9 July 2015 [Image: brics2015.ru]

Moscow will push for a BRICS Energy platform, a BRICS consolidation against protectionism and greater foreign policy coordination among the five members, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We believe that this (a joint energy research platform) would enable us to coordinate our information, analysis and research activities in the interests of the five BRICS countries and would ultimately facilitate the implementation of joint energy investment projects,” Putin wrote in an article published in Xinhua on Friday.

China is already the world’s largest energy consumer and net importer. Its total oil imports in the first six months of this year reached 212 million tons, according to China’s General Administration of Customs.

Russia is among the largest gas and oil producers in the world. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom claims it holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves.

China’s Xiamen is gearing up to hold the 9th BRICS Summit in the three days up to September 5. BRICS nations include Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa as well as China.

On Friday, Putin said BRICS will aim to “strengthen the role of the WTO as the key regulator in international trade”.

“I am confident that the BRICS countries will continue to act in a consolidated manner against protectionism and new barriers in global trade,” he wrote.

The zeal of protectionism pushed forth by Donald Trump’s electoral win has been a much-discussed topic at global economic summits including the G20 earlier this year.

There is growing fear that the Trump administration will undo much of the cooperation frameworks on trade and sustainable energy in place between G20 nations.

Tensions are rising over Trump’s plan to use a Cold War-era law to restrict steel imports for national security reasons.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Russian President also spoke about BRICS uniting efforts towards global stability.

“Russia stands for closer coordination of the BRICS countries’ foreign policies, primarily at the UN and G20, as well as other international organisations.” Putin wrote.

Russia and “other concerned countries”, Putin said, “have delivered a powerful blow to the terrorists” in Syria.

Putin also asked for BRICS support to create “a broad counter-terrorism front based on international law and led by the UN”.

Putin will hold bilateral meetings with heads of state of other BRICS countries on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

TBP and Agencies

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