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PM Modi concerned ‘bigger BRICS will turn bloc into China mouthpiece’

Despite BRICS leaders batting for expansion on the group, the negotiations are facing last-minute hurdles, endangering efforts to amplify the “Global South’s” influence in global affairs. A Reuters report cited, the leaders contemplating over how much thee bloc can grow and how quickly. In fact, the source close to development say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in not in favour of a bigger bloc and has introduced new admission criteria.

A Bloomberg report cited India is concerned a bigger BRICS would transform the group into a mouthpiece for China

More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS and 22 have formally asked to be admitted. And an agreement to expand BRICS – currently Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – could allow dozens of interested nations to seek admission

Summit host South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor said that “We have agreed on the matter of expansion” and also asserted that the document adopted setting out guidelines and principles, processes for considering countries to become BRICS member is very positive.

But, in reality, leaders had not yet signed a finalised admission framework, Reuters cited.

Speaking on PM Modi introducing new admission criteria, an Indian official, close to the development told Reuters, “India pushed for consensus on criteria as well as the issue of (candidate) names. There was a broad understanding”

What PM Modi is demanding?

Bloc heavyweight China has long called for an expansion of BRICS in an attempt to form a multipolar world order to challenge Western dominance. Similarly Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is also keen to show Western powers he still has friends.

Brazil and India, in contrast, have both been forging closer ties with the West. And both are pushing their agenda to slow down the process.

The BRICS country official said that admission criteria India’s Modi proposed included requiring members not be the target of international sanctions, ruling out potential candidates Iran and Venezuela.

Modi was also pushing for a minimum per capital GDP requirement.

“These are the things Modi brought in today,” the official said. “So they are becoming a little bit of a spoiler.”

Meanwhile, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday rejected the idea the bloc should seek to rival the U.S. and Group of Seven wealthy economies.

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