Indian external affairs minister and Russian foreign minister have held a meeting to discuss cooperation within the BRICS, the Group of Twenty (G20), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The two countries have been shifting to settlements in national currencies, reducing their dependence on the U.S. dollar.
Foreign Ministers Discuss BRICS, G20, SCO
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar held meetings with his counterparts from several countries, including Russia, Thursday on the sidelines of a two-day BRICS meeting of foreign ministers (FM) in Cape Town, South Africa. The BRICS countries comprise Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Jaishankar tweeted following a meeting with his Russian counterpart: “Good to meet FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia in Cape Town this morning on BRICS FMM [Foreign Ministers’ Meeting] sidelines.” He added:
Our discussions covered bilateral matters, BRICS, G20, and SCO.
India and Russia are members of the BRICS, the Group of Twenty (G20), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Russia has been pushing to strengthen cooperation with other BRICS nations. Both India and Russia have been promoting the use of national currencies in trade settlements, reducing their reliance on the U.S. dollar.
In April, the Indian government outlined initiatives, as part of a G20 presentation, towards the “internationalization” of the rupee, stating that the goal is to make the rupee “a global currency” and to facilitate international trade settlement in INR. Recently, the governments of Bangladesh and India decided to conduct their bilateral trade settlements in national currencies.
Lavrov said this week that Russia is actively shifting to settlements in national currencies. “Of course, as trade turnover grows, the transition to payments in national currencies will become more practical — this is the future. This is true not only for Africa, but also for Latin America, our Asian friends, as well as Iran, India, and China,” he said.
The BRICS nations are also discussing creating a common currency which is expected to be discussed at the group’s upcoming leaders’ summit. Moreover, the economic bloc is discussing expansion plans as at least 19 countries have either applied to join the BRICS or have expressed interest in joining.
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