The 7th BRICS Academic Forum “Cooperation for Development, Prosperity, and Security” was held in Moscow on May 22-23.

The BRICS organization has been around for just nine years, however, the historical trade and cultural ties between the countries in this group have existed “for centuries and even millennia”. This was part of the opening remarks made by the Chairman of the BRICS National Research Committee V.A. Nikonov. According to him, during the last BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (Brazil), the expert communities of the five member countries were ordered to create a development strategy for the BRICS, and at this year’s summit in Ufa, such a strategy will be presented.

“BRICS has a chance of becoming a new model of global relationships, which are built above the narrow dividing lines of “east-west” and “north-south”, because its members respect each other’s national characteristics, do not interfere in the internal affairs of each other, and want to live in peace among themselves and the rest of the world,” said Mr. Nikonov.

According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Ryabkov, the BRICS has now become a serious factor in international life. “Within the BRICS framework, we mainly deal in the economic and financial spheres,” the diplomat said. “Now we are engaged in developing and approving a strategy for economic cooperation, and feel confident that the documents that will be adopted at the Ufa Summit will become a new milestone in the development of our association”.

The Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev noted that at the beginning, the BRICS countries only responded to issues on the international agenda, but now they themselves are becoming more active, and are formulating these issues. “There has been a movement from being reactive to being proactive”. According to him, the strengthening of the BRICS in the international arena will inevitably lead to attempts by external forces to sow the seeds of discord in the association. “They will try to ‘divide the BRICS on the grounds of national interests’, and ‘pull us apart by national quarters’. This will become a new challenge,” he warned.