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Unofficial translation
C O N C E P T

of participation of the Russian Federation

in BRICS

Approved by Vladimir V. Putin, President of the Russian Federation, on 9 February 2013

I. General provisions


1. The Concept of participation of the Russian Federation in the association of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Af0rica (BRICS) is a perception of principles, objectives and content of the foreign policy activities of the Russian Federation regarding the association for a long term period.

2. The Concept is based on the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Federal legislation, generally accepted principles and norms of international law, international treaties to which the Russian Federation is a party, policy documents adopted at BRICS summits, statutory instruments regulating activities of the Federal authorities in the area of foreign policy, as well as the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, the Concept of the Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020, the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020 and the Decree by the President of the Russian Federation on Measures to Implement the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (No. 605 of 7 May 2012).


II. The role of BRICS in the modern system of international relations
and prospects of development of the association


3. The creation of BRICS initiated in 2006 by the Russian Federation has been one of the most significant geopolitical events at the start of the new century. In a short while, the association managed to become an important factor of world politics.

4. The establishment of BRICS reflects an objective trend in the global development, the one towards the formation of a polycentric system of international relations, which is increasingly characterized by the use of non-institutionalized mechanisms of global governance and network-based diplomacy, and the growing economic interdependence of states.

5. The BRICS authority in the international arena is based on the growing economic power of the participating States, importance of their activities as a major driving force of the global economy, their significant share of the world population and their rich natural resources.

6. The political influence of BRICS stems from the fact that the participating States are reputable members of leading international organizations and entities, such as the UN, G20, G8, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77, etc., as well as regional associations (the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Community and the Customs Union – for the Russian Federation; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – for the Russian Federation and China; the Union of South American Nations, the South American Common Market and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States – for Brazil; the African Union and the South African Development Community – for South Africa; and South Asia Regional Development Association – for India).

7. The Russian Federation's relations with its BRICS partners are based on the UN Charter and generally accepted principles and norms of international law, as well as principles agreed upon by the participating states, such as openness, pragmatism, solidarity, non-bloc character and non-aggressive nature with regard to third parties.

8. Prospects of BRICS development are determined by a number of fundamental factors of long-term character facilitating the rapprochement of the participating states, which include:

a) a common desire of BRICS partners to reform the obsolete international financial and economic architecture which does not take into account the increased economic power of emerging market economies and developing countries;

b) their strong support for generally recognized principles and norms of international law, as well as their rejection of power politics and politics infringing on sovereignty of other states;

c) similarity of problems and challenges facing the BRICS participating States in the economic and social areas and stemming from the need for a large-scale modernization;

d) complementarity of many sectors of economy of the participating States.

9. At the same time, the scale, depth and dynamics of cooperation within BRICS can be affected by centrifugal forces existing in the association, as well as by negative influences from outside.

10. Taking into account the contradictory and still evolving character of factors affecting the development of BRICS, one of the objectives of the Russian foreign policy towards BRICS is to facilitate in every possible way the centripetal trends in the association and to neutralize negative factors.

11. The Russian Federation assumes that, subject to a firm political will on the part of governments of the participating States to deepen cooperation, the association can potentially become a key element of a new system of global governance, first of all, in the financial and economic areas. At the same time, the Russian Federation stands in favor of positioning BRICS in the world system as a new model of global relations, overarching the old dividing lines between East and West, and North and South.


III. Strategic objectives of the Russian Federation in BRICS


12. For the Russian Federation, the cooperation in the BRICS format is a key long-term foreign policy vector. Through its participation in BRICS, Russia is seeking to achieve the following strategic objectives:

a) based on common approaches by the participating States to fundamental issues of the international monetary and financial system reform, to facilitate making that reform more equitable, stable and effective in order to provide a more favorable international environment for the development of the economy and financial system of the Russian Federation and other BRICS participating States;

b) building on the commitment by the participating States to the rule of law in international relations, to progressively expand the foreign policy cooperation with BRICS partners in the interests of peace and security with due respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states and non-interference in their internal affairs;

c) using participation in BRICS, to enhance the multivector character of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation, thus strengthening international positions of the country;

d) relying on the membership in BRICS, to develop privileged bilateral relations with BRICS partners to make a fuller use of advantages emanating from mutually complementary opportunities of cooperation among the participating States in various spheres;

e) using participation in BRICS, to widen the Russian linguistic, cultural and informational presence in major countries of the world, to which belong BRICS members.

13. The existing friendly bilateral relations between Russia and each of the BRICS participating States provide a platform for promoting Russia's cooperation with its BRICS partners in the multilateral format. Thus, the Russian Federation believes that cooperation in BRICS on concrete issues should not replace the established bilateral relations between the participating States.


IV. Russian Federation's objectives in specific areas of cooperation
in the framework of BRICS. Mechanisms of their implementation

The sphere of international political cooperation


14. The main objectives of the Russian Federation in the field of international political cooperation with BRICS partners are:

a) to enhance in every possible way interaction within the UN as well as to preserve and strengthen the UN Security Council's role as a body bearing the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security; to prevent the use of the UN, first of all the Security Council, to cover up the course towards removing undesirable regimes and imposing unilateral solutions to conflict situations, including those based on the use of force;

b) to promote, on the basis of common interests, proposals put forward by the Russian Federation and other BRICS participating States at the UN General Assembly sessions and in the Organization's bodies and specialized agencies;

c) to increase cooperation in adapting the UN to the present-day international realities. The Russian Federation supports the UN Security Council reform in order to make it more representative while not diminishing its expediency and efficiency and retaining the prerogatives of the current permanent members of the UN Security Council, including their veto right;

d) to develop cooperation aimed at strengthening the primacy of international law in world affairs and counteract trends leading to erosion of the fundamental principles of international law and arbitrary interpretation of the UN Charter provisions and the UN Security Council decisions;

e) to enhance cooperation in the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the world, to step up coordinated actions within the leading international organizations, especially the UN, as well as to jointly fight against attempts to politicize human rights issues and activities of specialized multilateral institutions;

f) to assist other BRICS States in settling differences that arise between them when BRICS partners themselves are interested that the Russian Side perform such functions;

g) to establish an advanced system of mechanisms of foreign policy cooperation that would include Foreign ministers meetings, meetings of senior foreign policy officials for discussing and preparing joint decisions on topical international political issues, close collaboration between permanent missions of BRICS participating States to the UN and other international organizations, and regular expert consultations on international political issues.


Cooperation in the sphere of the international security


15. When promoting the dialogue and practical collaboration with BRICS partners in this regard the Russian Federation proceeds from the fact that this format does not provide for dealing with military-political issues and for the creation of mechanisms of cooperation in the military sphere.

16. The main objectives of the Russian Federation in international security cooperation with BRICS participating States are:

a) to coordinate positions on strategic stability, international and regional security, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, settlement of regional conflicts and the maintenance of regional stability;

b) to develop common or similar approaches to combating international terrorism. This implies cooperation in strengthening the central coordinating role of the UN in the fight against international terrorism, implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, putting into practice the universal anti-terrorism conventions, strict compliance with provisions of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and the elaboration of common positions on the fight against terrorism in relations with the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the African Union and other regional organizations;

c) to agree upon approaches to combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, including joint actions in the UN and regional organizations;

d) to cooperate in ensuring international information security, to make use of the BRICS potential for advancing initiatives in this regard within various international forums and organizations, first of all within the UN; strengthen, in BRICS format, cooperation in countering the use of information and communication technologies for military-political, terrorist and criminal purposes, as well as for purposes that run counter to international peace, stability and security;

e) to cooperate in combating maritime piracy, build on joint efforts aimed at establishing a judicial mechanism containing an international component to ensure prosecution and punishment of pirates;

f) to cooperate with BRICS participating States in countering legalization of illegal revenues and financing of terrorism in the framework of the Financial Action Task Force and groups based on its model, including bilateral ones;

g) to cooperate in combating illegal migration;

h) to develop a mechanism for dialogue and ultimately for elaboration of common proposals and coordination of practical actions in the field of international security. Such a mechanism would imply regular meetings of High Representatives responsible for national security and expert consultations on key complex international security issues.


Cooperation in the financial and monetary sphere


17. The Russian Federation assumes that collaboration between BRICS participating States in reforming the international financial and monetary system will remain a long-term priority for cooperation within BRICS. The Russian Side will pursue the following major goals in this field:

a) to contribute to bringing the world economy on the trajectory of a strong, sustainable and balanced growth;

b) to complete the current stage of the International Monetary Fund reform under the terms and conditions agreed upon by the G20 and the Fund;

c) to reform the global monetary and financial system in order to create a more representative, stable and predictable international reserve currency system;

d) to reduce the risks of destabilization of currency and stock markets of BRICS countries connected with mass trans-border capital transfers to and from these countries;

e) to use the BRICS capacities to strengthen the G20 – the premier forum of international economic cooperation of its participants;

f) to augment the role of national currencies in mutual payments between BRICS States and to develop cooperation in the area of financial markets in order to improve the financial stability of BRICS States and their efficient interaction on the basis of international principles and standards;

g) to strengthen and improve the mechanism of BRICS States' cooperation in this area, which includes: regular meetings of the Ministers of Finance and the Heads of Central Banks; regular meetings of the Sherpas of BRICS States in the G20; expert consultations on current monetary and financial issues relevant to the interests of BRICS States.


Cooperation in the sphere of trade and economy


18. In this area, the Russian Federation has the following key objectives:

a) to create more favorable conditions for the promotion of mutual trade, primarily in order to promote the Russian export, and the development of investment cooperation with other BRICS States, including on the multilateral basis;

b) to develop cooperation with BRICS States within international organizations in order to jointly promote our common interests in the sphere of international trade;

c) to develop cooperation on competition policy;

d) to develop interaction in the area of statistics in order to broaden exchange of statistical data and experience in introducing international statistical standards, as well as to issue joint statistical publications;

e) to assist in strengthening the Exchanges’ Alliance of the BRICS countries;

f) to encourage establishment and to support activities of the BRICS Business Council, and to promote a more extensive participation of the Russian business community in business forums held by BRICS;

g) to encourage creation of independent rating agencies of BRICS States destined to contribute to a more objective assessment of the market position of the national companies and banks;

h) to strengthen and improve the mechanism of cooperation of BRICS States in this area, which includes: regular meetings of the Ministers of Trade and Economy; regular meetings of the Heads of Statistical and Anti-monopoly Agencies; cooperation at the level of Permanent Representatives of BRICS States in the World Trade Organization; activities of the BRICS Contact Group on the preparation of proposals concerning the development of the forum's institutional basis and the broadening of economic cooperation.


Cooperation in the sphere of industry


19. The Russian Federation builds its interaction with its BRICS partners in this area on the basis of national priorities in modernization and technological development of the economy as defined in the Concept of the Long-term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation up to the year 2020.

20. The key objectives of the Russian Federation in developing interaction with other BRICS States in the area of industry are as follows:

a) to encourage mutually beneficial cooperation in order to enhance export capacities, primarily of the Russian aviation industry, energy engineering, metallurgy, machine-tool industry, radio and electronic industry, transport and special engineering;

b) to ensure necessary conditions for the import of modern equipment from BRICS States to the Russian Federation and the transfer of technologies facilitating development of high technology sectors;

c) to develop cooperation in production and utilization of mineral resources in order to diversify export markets for this type of the Russian produce, to attract investments of BRICS States to the Russian economy for the purposes of modernization and development of the mining industry;

d) to promote cooperation in the pharmaceutics industry in order to develop and produce modern medicinal drugs;

e) to actively participate in the emerging cooperation mechanisms in the area of industry and initiate establishment of new ones.


Cooperation in the sphere of energy


21. The Russian Federation pursues the following key objectives in this sphere of interaction with other BRICS States:

a) to ensure the energy security of the Russian Federation and of its BRICS partners;

b) to diversify export energy markets on the basis of long-term supply of energy resources;

c) to develop the legal framework for the international cooperation in the area of energy;

d) to exchange experience and technologies in the area of energy efficiency and saving, and renewable energy sources;

e) to carry out joint research on energy saving technologies, new and renewable energy sources, and technologies for energy storage.

22. In order to fulfill these objectives the Russian Federation will actively participate in the creation of mechanisms for the multilateral cooperation of BRICS States in the sphere of energy, such as the Energy Dialogue.


Cooperation in the sphere of science, technology and innovation


23. The main purposes of interaction between the Russian Federation and the BRICS States in this sphere are:

a) exchanging information on science and technology policy and programs and formulating joint long-term problem-oriented cooperation programs on this basis;

b) encouraging research in the areas of primary interest for the Russian Federation and other BRICS States, such as aeronautics, high-speed transportation vehicles, microelectronics and information technology, nanotechnology, food security and sustainable agriculture, biotechnology and veterinary science, medical science, fundamental research, search for and exploration of mineral resources, remote sensing of the Earth, climate change, water resources and water treatment technology;

c) cooperating in the field of space research and the use of space technology. As a first step, the Russian Side proposes to establish a working group for identifying areas of interaction in this sphere that are of interest to all participating States;

d) providing organizational, legal, financial and staffing support for cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation in the framework of BRICS, which includes creating high-tech zones (science parks) and incubators, forming common "technology platforms", stimulating joint investment in the development of high technologies, research and innovation centers such as "Skolkovo" in Russia and similar centers in other BRICS States, increasing interaction in the area of education, training of scientific personnel and implementation of joint research programs;

e) strengthening and improving the mechanism for cooperation of BRICS States in this area, including meetings of Senior Officials in science and technology, a network of national coordinators for cooperation in the science and technology sphere.

24. The Russian Federation supports development of cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation not only between the five BRICS States, but also within the framework of multilateral groups with fewer participants, involving the states that are not members of BRICS, if mutual interest is present.

25. The Russian Federation promotes industrial, scientific and technological cooperation in the BRICS format in strict compliance with its international obligations.


Cooperation in the sphere of agriculture


26. The main purposes of participation of the Russian Federation in cooperation with the BRICS partners in this sphere are:

a) expanding mutual trade in agricultural products with a focus on increasing Russian exports to these States; attracting their investments in domestic agriculture to accelerate its modernization;

b) еnsuring, on the basis of cooperation, food security of the Russian Federation and of other BRICS States, and participating in ensuring international food security;

c) exchanging information on policy in specific agricultural sectors, on investment policy in the agricultural industry, on prices and volume of production, processing and consumption of basic agricultural products;

d) cooperating with other BRICS partners for adaptation of agriculture to climate change;

e) jointly developing new agricultural machinery and technologies, including biotechnologies, to improve agricultural productivity;

f) actively using the existing mechanism of cooperation in this sphere, which includes regular meetings of the Ministers of Agriculture of the BRICS States, activities of the Working Group on Agricultural Cooperation of the BRICS States.


Cooperation in the sphere of health care


27. The main objectives that the Russian Federation is pursuing in cooperation with other BRICS participating States in the area of health care are as follows:

a) to use the mutually advantageous cooperation for strengthening the national health care system and to improve the access of the population to high quality, effective and safe drugs, vaccines and other health care products;

b) to enhance cooperation with BRICS participating States in the area of introduction and use of innovative and effective medical equipment and technologies;

c) to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between BRICS participating States in a broader context of interaction in the framework of international organizations, including the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization;

d) to create effective joint mechanisms to fight infectious diseases and to ensure the safety of food, including the exchange of information on the sanitary and epidemiological situation in BRICS participating States and on measures being taken by them to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to ensure food safety;

e) to strengthen and develop the existing mechanism of cooperation in the area of health care, which includes regular meetings of BRICS Health Ministers and the Working group on health care.

28. The Russian Side is in favor of supplementing the health care cooperation mechanism with direct contacts between specialized national research institutes to arrange for an exchange of scientific information and best practices regarding the creation of healthy lifestyles and non-infectious disease prevention, mother and child health care, sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population, and prevention and elimination of epidemic consequences of natural disasters and emergencies, as well as to organize specialized training in that area, especially for young scientists.


Cooperation in areas of culture, education and sports,
as well as youth and regional exchanges

Facilitating contacts between non-governmental organizations


29. The Russian Federation gives high priority to the development of cooperation in this sphere in the BRICS format. Such a cooperation is an important tool of raising the awareness of the peoples of BRICS participating States regarding history, modern life, culture and traditions of each other which promotes mutual understanding.

30. Primary objectives of the Russian Federation in this area are as follows:

a) to lay down a legal and organizational foundation for multilateral cultural cooperation among BRICS participating States. To this end, the Russian Federation proposes to sign an international agreement on cultural cooperation among BRICS participating States and to hold regular multilateral cultural events in connection with BRICS summits and other major forums. The Russian Federation is in favor of holding regular meetings of BRICS Ministers of culture as a mechanism to promote and coordinate multilateral cultural cooperation in the framework of BRICS;

b) to promote active cooperation with other BRICS participating States in the framework of UNESCO;

c) to facilitate, on a reciprocal basis, the expansion of scientific, academic and student exchanges between higher education establishments of BRICS participating States, including with the use of advanced distance-learning technologies and distributed data bases;

d) to use the multilateral dialogue in the BRICS framework to address the issue of concluding intergovernmental agreements on mutual recognition and equivalence of educational diplomas and academic degrees with BRICS participating States;

e) to promote cooperation through civil society institutions (in the Russian Federation – with reliance in the first instance on the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation);

f) to facilitate the organization of multilateral events by youth organizations of BRICS participating States;

g) to promote learning of the Russian language in BRICS partner States using the existing network of Russian language and culture centers and cooperation agreements between state universities of the Russian Federation and universities of other BRICS participating States;

h) to gradually create a common information space between BRICS participating States. In this context, the Russian Federation favors the development of cooperation, including the exchange of programs on both bilateral and multilateral basis, between radio and television broadcasting companies of BRICS countries. In 2013-2014, a recurrent publication on BRICS activities is to be initiated in the Russian Federation;

i) to promote the exchange of experience in organizing major international sporting events, building modern sports facilities and developing sports infrastructure; to hold joint training sessions for high-performance athletes and paralympians; to organize sports exchange programs between children's and youth divisions;

j) to develop mechanisms of interaction between BRICS participating States in the area of tourism, including, first of all, through metropolitan tourist organizations, to promote tourist products on the basis of mutual advantage;

k) to promote multilateral relations on the regional level, including through the BRICS Forum of Regions and Municipalities.


V. The approach of the Russian Federation

to the strategic development of BRICS


31. The long-term objective of the Russian Federation's participation in BRICS is to gradually transform the association from a dialogue forum and a tool to coordinate positions on a limited range of issues into a full-fledged mechanism of strategic and ongoing cooperation on key international political and economic issues.

32. To reach this overall objective, the Russian Federation suggests the following measures:

a) in the next three to four years, to focus efforts of BRICS participating States on boosting their cooperation in BRICS in its present numerical composition.

b) to create in the framework of BRICS a system of informal political- and working-level mechanisms to strengthen coordination in all areas of activity, to ensure continuity in the work of the association in the context of rotation of the Presidency and to enhance dialogue on new directions and forms of cooperation;

c) to elaborate a BRICS development strategy defining the Association's long-term objectives, operating principles and cooperation mechanisms;

d) to start a dialogue on ways, pace and concrete forms of possible institutionalization of BRICS, considering, inter alia, the issue of creating a permanent secretariat;

e) to promote external relations of the association through establishing dialogue with leading developing countries, the UN agencies as well as with regional organizations.


VI. Scientific and staffing support for the Russian Federation's participation in BRICS


33. Taking into account the novel and complex nature of issues related to the Russian Federation's participation in BRICS, an important task of relevant institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences is to engage in an in-depth study of economy and domestic and foreign policy of BRICS countries and to develop in that context an independent area of research of this inter-state association. Particular attention should be paid to providing comprehensive assistance to the National Committee for BRICS Research.

34. An important task for state higher-education establishments of the Russian Federation is to expand country- and language training programs to provide cadres for ensuring the Russian Federation's participation in all aspects of BRICS activities.