29 March 2017
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BRICS: a new model of global cooperation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RBTH)

BRICS has become a solid inter-continental force within the existing system of global governance. There is nothing revolutionary or iconoclastic about it. It has evolved institutionally and intensified interaction among its members and demonstrated the capacity to contribute to the world’s prosperity and security. Its contribution to global GDP now stands at 31% compared with 24% in 2007.

The 8th BRICS Summit in Goa hosted by India in mid-October has reflected the existing high level of intra-BRICS strategic cooperation as well as presented additional opportunities for the genuine BRICS integration. The summit has ensured continuity and has taken into account initiatives that were put forward in Ufa, Russia, in 2015.

The BRICS summit resulted in the adoption of the Goa Declaration and the Action Plan for its implementation, the Provision on the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee, the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform and the Memorandum of Understanding between BRICS Diplomatic Academies. This clearly demonstrates that the BRICS countries remain committed to inclusive economic growth, financial stability as well as to shaping a democratic and polycentric world order. The member-states share close positions on current global and regional issues, call for resolute action to fight terrorism and joint efforts to address other common threats and challenges. Nobody dictates to anyone, everything is subject to consensus.

The progress in the economic and financial cooperation is exemplified by the New BRICS Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement having begun their work. The Development Bank has already approved the first five investment projects in the clean energy sector (one project in each member-state). On the agenda – to start working with BRICS national currencies. The roadmap for BRICS investment cooperation is readied for adoption, and we’ll start implementing the 2020 Economic Partnership Strategy.

A global player now, BRICS is actively diversifying its activities by increasing the number of initiatives in industrial cooperation, labour and employment, education, agriculture, dealing with consequences of natural disasters, climate change and global health threats, including AIDS, Ebola, Zika and tuberculosis. In November 2017 Russia will host the High-level Global Conference on Tuberculosis, which will examine steps to fight these and other dangerous epidemics.

BRICS engages in discussions with non-BRICS countries to promote global economic cooperation. On the margins of the summit BRICS leaders met the Heads of delegations of the Bay of the Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). It have been agreed to “enrich our understanding and engagement” by organizing in the near future an Outreach BRICS – BIMSTEC Summit.

President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held very constructive bilateral talks and signed agreements on cooperation in the areas of information and communication, military collaboration, oil and gas, speed railway development, and in deployment of satellite navigation systems, etc.

So, the BIRCS interaction demonstrates much stronger performance as some critics are willing to recognize. BRICS increases its member-states’ global competitiveness, lowers barriers to trade and investment, as well as strengthens their voice in discussion of economic and political agenda. The members are unanimous in the commitment to multilateral diplomacy, the rule of law and the central role of the UN in international affairs.

I’d like to note that BRICS is a direct opposite of the cumbersome entangling alliances of the past. The member-states do not oppose anybody or anything, but join effort in promoting their national interest, defined within the real coordinates of today’s world with issues of development the top item on the agenda. And for Russia it is, among other thing, a major element of our geo-economic pivot to Asia and net-working diplomacy overall.


06.03.2017 - The growing Russian economy is increasingly open for business (article by Ambassador Yakovenko for The Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2017)

Tough challenges, including weak global growth, low energy prices and Western sanctions have been used by the Russian Government as incentives to make difficult, but sound decisions to keep our economy in shape. Most of the problems have been overcome, and we have adapted to the new, tougher trade and economic environment, that some call deglobalisation.

21.02.2017 - Remembering Ambassador Churkin (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Work in New York, at a mission to the United Nations differs a lot from any Embassy. Especially so for a mission of a nation-permanent member of the Security Council. The last ten years, when Vitaly Churkin represented Russia at the UN, undoubtedly where the most busy and strenuous, given the War in Iraq, intervention in Libya, the crises in Syria and Ukraine. On all these issues there were serious differences between major powers, which increased demand for multilateral diplomacy. On many occasions those were non-stop, marathon sessions aimed at reaching consensus, finding some common ground as a basis for international action.

03.02.2017 - MEPP: inter-Palestinian conference in Moscow (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 15-17 January in Moscow there was held an inter-Palestinian informal meeting organized by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Representatives of the main Palestinian organizations were present, including Fatah, Hamas, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, the Palestinian National Initiative, the Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, the Palestinian Democratic Union and others.

03.02.2017 - Deal is straightforward yet Kiev drags its feet (by Ambassador Yakovenko for FT)

Sir, The latest flare-up in eastern Ukraine is just more evidence of the Kiev government choosing war over reform (Letters, February 1). It has been dragging its feet over implementation of its part of the Minsk 2 accords reached by the Normandy Four two years ago.

01.02.2017 - Crimea and Minsk Agreements: what the British media would not tell? (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The recent escalation in eastern Ukraine is again presented in the British media as Russia’s attempt to wage a proxy hybrid war against Kiev’s pro-western leadership. For fear of an eventual improvement in Russia-US relationships they pray for the sanctions against Russia to stay unless the Minsk Agreements are implemented as well as a punishment for the “Russia’s annexation of Crimea”. Let me set the record straight on that.

25.01.2017 - Finally there is hope for peace in Syria. Now let's concentrate on fighting Isil (article by Ambassador Yakovenko in The Daily Telegraph, 25 January 2017)

For almost a year and a half, as the British government and media were accusing Russia of pursuing a military solution in Syria, we have patiently said that fighting terrorists complements the peace process. Their presence is a foreign intervention, which distorts everything. Not always was our voice heard, but today facts on the ground prove us to be right, and hope for peace is palpable.

18.01.2017 - Back to basics in international relations (letter by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for Evening Standard, published on 17 January 2017)

Recently we have seen a trend of questioning electoral outcomes in Western nations under the pretext of undue outside interference, first of all “Russian influence”. It follows that outcome of the June referendum in Britain could be also challenged on those grounds. Not all find it preposterous. But will of the people is expressed within domestic environment.

22.12.2016 - Why the elites blame post-truth politics for their failures, by Ambassador Yakovenko for RBTH, published 22 December

Establishment leaders in Europe and America need a reality check and to address voters' genuine concerns in a globalized world. The year 2016 has seen truly epic failures of mainstream politics and media, most significantly at the British EU referendum and the American election. In both cases seasoned analysts could not see beyond their Westminster or Capitol bubbles and foresee the outcomes. Enraged as they were, they chose to blame outside forces, often pointing the finger at Moscow, which supposedly has more influence on Western voters than home politicians. More generally, they blamed their failures on “post-truth politics”, ie, assuming that new-wave politicians (and their line-up crosses the Cold War divide in the Euro-Atlantic) run fake news stories and take advantage of a total breakdown of trust in elites and their institutions. Indeed, progressively, we have been seeing the last of established politicians, and institutions falling into disarray and irrelevance.

20.11.2016 - Bringing peace to Syria (by Ambassador Yakovenko for "Sunday Mirror", published on 20.11.2016)

It has to be borne in mind that Russia sent its Air Force to Syria only on 30 September 2015. According to our Western interlocutors, it was a critical moment when Damascus was about to fall to the ISIS onslaught. The foreign terrorist organizations, proscribed by the UN, such as ISIS and “Nusra”, are the single most important factor that distorted the entire setup in Syria. In fact, the terrorists are leading the opposition militarily, including in East Aleppo. Accordingly, if they call the tune on the battlefield, they’ll do the same in Syria if they prevail. Our only strategy in Syria is to allow the Syrians to decide for themselves.

19.11.2016 - Collectivism and connectivity at the heart of APEC (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 19–20 November 2016, Lima hosts regular meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. 21 countries’ leaders gather in order to discuss pressing global and regional economic issues. The Summit takes place against the background of global political and economic turbulence. The ongoing shaping of new polycentric world order is accompanied by growing instability. In the Asia Pacific, the effects of these tendencies have been mitigated by major technological and financial potential that has enabled the region to maintain its leading positions in world affairs. However, it is evident that the growing challenges will have a negative impact on the prospects of long-term growth in the region.

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