Malaysia and Thailand seek to join BRICS alliance

Malaysia joins Thailand as south east Asian nations seeking entry into the BRICS bloc in 2024.

Over the last several years, the BRICS alliance has increased its influence in global geopolitics. It has sought to use this expanded influence and de-dollarization to reshape global finance. Moreover, it has continually sought to implement a multipolar world that embraces greater participation and competition.

That is set to be enhanced by its growth plan, with the BRICS bloc seeing two new countries – Malaysia and Thailand – announce intentions to join the economic alliance.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim recently revealed that a request to join the bloc has already been filed to the grouping.

“We have made a decision [on the matter]. We will start going through the official procedures soon,” Ibrahim said, according to Russia State News. He added that they “are now awaiting the final results, the response from the South African Government.”

Thailand is also understood to have submitted a request for BRICS membership. In May 2024 Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin-led Cabinet approved a letter indicating Bangkok’s intention to become a member of the bloc.

Thai Foreign Minister Maris Sangiampongsa said during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, that Thailand is “willing” to join the BRICS “as soon as possible.” The issue was discussed on the sidelines of BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Summit in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, on June 12, according to said a statement released by Beijing.

According to reports, there are more than 30 countries seeking to join the bloc. There are expectations that the bloc will expand its membership for the second time in as many years, after admitting 5 new members – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates as full members in January this year. The greatest question now is how many nations will be included, and what countries could be chosen? The answers should provide even greater insight into the bloc’s short- and long-term plans.

Meanwhile, on June 18, 2024 the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov said that “One of the key criteria for the BRICS membership or for being admitted as a partner state is the applicants’ non-participation in the policy of illegal sanctions, illegal restrictions against any of the BRICS members.”

This position, according to Ryabkov, “is met with full understanding” (of BRICS members, and Russia hopes that this will preserve BRICS’ pivotal character in the future. Ryabkov added that “it is an incontestable fact that BRICS will go on expanding and will find new formats of cooperation.”


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