An influential group of emerging economies said they supported talks between Moscow and Kyiv at the end of the two-day summit held against the backdrop of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Beijing is hosting a virtual forum of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – which account for more than 40 percent of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP.
Three members – China, India and South Africa – have refrained from voting on a UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion, and President Vladimir Putin urged them to reject Western countries stunned by an attack on a European neighbor Is.
The five countries said in a manifesto released late Thursday that they “support talks between Russia and Ukraine” but did not draw any way towards ending the war.
The countries said they “discussed our concerns over the humanitarian situation in and around Ukraine” and expressed support for international agencies “to provide humanitarian assistance”.
The United States and the European Union have slapped Russia with a barrage of sanctions since it invaded Ukraine on February 24.
But China and India have attempted to stay above ground, being careful not to damage the strong military and commercial ties with Moscow.
South Africa, one of the few African countries to have diplomatic influence outside the continent, has also refused to condemn Russia for protecting important economic ties.
China and Russia also touted a “no-limits” partnership with President Xi Jinping last week and sent a message of support to Putin on “sovereignty and security” issues.
The Russian president on Thursday called on BRICS leaders to work together to shun “selfish actions” from the West and push for a “truly multipolar system of inter-governmental relations”.
Xi said on the eve of the forum on Wednesday that “the Ukraine crisis is … a wake-up call” and branded sanctions a “boomerang and a double-edged sword”.
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