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Russia and Eurasia (71)

The rise of so-called ‘emerging economies’ - such as Brazil, India and China - has been marked by their growing contribution to developmental issues, regionally and globally. This provision of assistance to the developing world by the developing world is known as South-South Cooperation (SSC).
While the BRICS’ initial focus when it was established in 2009 was on improving global economic governance in response to the 2008 financial crisis, over the last seven years BRICS co-operation and dialogue has moved into politico-security areas.  
Some five weeks ago I attended the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Academic Forum in Moscow as part of the South African delegation. The discussions held there provide interesting insights into the future direction of the BRICS group.
A new set of papers has just been released, looking at BRICS and Development Finance Institutions.
On 24 March 2015, SAIIA's Western Cape Branch hosted a public seminar addressed by Dr Sara Pienaar and Professor Irina Filatova, on 'Putin’s Russia at home and abroad.'
In July 2014, the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), announced the creation of a new, US$100 billion New Development Bank to lend money to developing nations for investments. There is much speculation about the role the Bank might play, and the motivations of the BRICS members in establishing it.
On 24 November 2014, the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town and the South African Institute of International Affairs, hosted a conference on 'Development Banks of the Developing World: Regional Roles, Governance and Sustainability.'
The South African Institute of International Affairs, Eastern Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Ambassador Elkhan Polukhov on 'Stability in the South Caucasus in light of South Africa – Azerbaijan Relations.'
After five years of introspection and institution building, the sixth BRICS summit offers an opportunity for the group to focus on its relations with the rest of the world. Relations with the Group of 7 (G-7) are particularly contentious. Russia's exclusion from the G-8 following the crisis in Crimea has moved the BRICS to the centre stage in Russian foreign policy thinking, and risks pulling the group onto an opposition footing with the West.
The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) were brought together by their investment returns and growth potential, but for the group to act they must find some common purpose.
Wednesday, 09 July 2014

BRICS 2014 Summit

As the BRICS meet in Fortaleza, Brazil from 14-16 July 2014, attention is once again on the group’s efforts to establish two new financial institutions: the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement. Negotiations are underway on both and, while it remains uncertain that they will be officially launched in Fortaleza, substantial progress is expected to be announced at the summit.
In advance of the sixth annual BRICS Heads of State Summit, to be held in Fortaleza, Brazil from 14-16 July 2014, SAIIA has compiled an engaging range of new materials about the grouping's past, present and future.
Tuesday, 08 July 2014

BRICS Media Briefing 2014

The South African Institute of International Affairs and the Global Economic Governance Africa (GEG-Africa) Project invited members of the press to a special media briefing on "BRICS: from Durban to Fortaleza, what to expect," on 8 July 2014.
In advance of the 2014 the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) Summit, an update is now available for the highly popular online resource 'BRICS and the New World Order: A Beginners Guide', produced by SAIIA and CUTS International.
New research on the trade policies of each of the BRICS countries, using the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a frame of reference, is now available for the first time in English.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 192, June 2014
SAIIA's Western Cape Branch invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Dr Sara Pienaar, on “Surviving in a Rough Neighbourhood – Ukraine, Russia and the Crimea Crisis."
An internal Ukrainian crisis dating back to November 2013 took on an external dimension last month. Just as Ukrainians were starting to rebuild their country after months of protests and a change of leadership, Russia’s intervention in Crimea has shifted the focus, and set off alarm bells throughout Europe.
Bulgaria is still the poorest European Union country, but its fortunes have improved exponentially since it joined the EU. This makes the recent events in the Crimean Peninsula unfortunate. By leaving Ukraine, Crimea has missed a window of opportunity to benefit from Ukraine’s closer association with the EU.
The people of the Crimean peninsula in the Ukraine voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation on 16 March 2014. The following day the Crimea declared its independence from the Ukraine as the Republic of Crimea and the Autonomous City of Sevastopol. And on 18 March 2014 the territories formally joined the Russian Federation through a treaty of accession.
2013 was a difficult year for the five BRICS countries. China and Brazil faced slowing growth, South Africa and India were hit by currency instability, and concern over Russia’s governance deepened (before recent events in the Ukraine pitched them into all-out crisis). As doubts have mounted, investors have increasingly turned back to traditional investment destinations like the United States and Europe, as well as to new formations like the MINTs (Mexico, India, Nigeria and Turkey).
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 170, December 2014
How effective are the BRICS in inspiring confidence in their public diplomacy? This question lies at the heart of their soft power.
On New Year’s Eve 2014 over 100,000 Ukrainians attempted to set the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people simultaneously singing their national anthem. While such activities normally symbolise national unity, Ukraine remains as divided as ever. The former Soviet republic, independent since 1991 and with a population of 46 million, is faced with a choice of aligning itself closer to the European Union (EU) or Russia. The country’s unique geo-political location between the two actors makes it a highly desirable of area of influence for both.
Climate change, the focus of the 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) underway in Poland from 11 to 22 November 2013, is one challenge that requires a truly global response that encompasses environmental, social and economic issues. Reflecting this the term “green economy” has seen an upsurge in interest globally and SAIIA’s Economic Diplomacy Programme is undertaking new research in this area, especially since the issue was placed on the Group of 20 (G-20) agenda in 2012.
Africa’s rise over the past decade has worked like a magnet, attracting to the continent new and old partners alike. While the mounting interest in the continent by emerging powers such as China, India and Brazil, and traditional partners such as the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), has inspired a growing stream of research and media attention, one erstwhile power remains conspicuously absent in the analysis: Russia.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 157, September 2013
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 75, October 2013
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