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South African Ambassador to Russia on BRICS Expansion

South Africa’s Ambassador to Russia, Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka gave a wide-ranging interview to Russia’s TASS press agency yesterday, where he spoke especially of the future of the BRICS. Pointing to the upcoming South African elections to be held on May 29, he stated: “If the ruling party, that is the African National Congress, wins the elections, there will be no changes, that I can assure you. But if one of the opposition parties takes over, I cannot guarantee anything. The main opposition party, which is the Democratic Alliance, if it can win the elections, I think the tables will change. That’s the reality. Because the main opposition party is not a friend to Russia,” he concluded.

The ambassador also confirmed that Saudi Arabia has yet to make its final decision on whether to join the BRICS. He stated that it “is still going through its own processes,” nonetheless, together with the BRICS shepherds...We will see it as we move towards [the summit in] Kazan.”

He said the summit in Kazan, Russia, will see new members joining the BRICS as there are 25 countries who had voiced a desire to join, prior to the last summit in South Africa. He thought that another 11 or12 countries will likely seek nomination in Kazan.

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