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India Would Offer In-Principle Support to Sri Lanka's BRICS Candidacy

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe after making press statement respectively, in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 21, 2023.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe after making press statement respectively, in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 21, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.05.2024
With more nations wanting to be a part of the BRICS bandwagon, Sri Lanka has become the latest country to express its interest in joining the powerful economic bloc.
India would offer in-principle support to Sri Lanka's bid to join BRICS though the final decision about it would only be taken by member nations following consultations with each other, two geopolitical pundits have said.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister's Plea to India

"We will look forward for BRICS. Also, I think the cabinet had appointed a sub-committee to look into that and recommend to us. We would like to see that because we would like to have multiple options. Who doesn't want to? So therefore BRICS is a good body, particularly since India is a part of it," Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said in an interview with an Indian media outlet on Monday.
"The first country we would be talking to is India and seek India's support for us to reach to the BRICS. And then of course I have been invited to take part on the BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Russia. So I hope that I will be there and then we will assess that. And yes, I think that right now personally if you ask me, I think that we should look at BRICS seriously," he added.
BRICS was originally a five-nation forum with Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa being its founding members.
It opened doors to new members last year, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Ethiopia joining the elite club on 1 January 2024.
© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev / Go to the mediabankBRICS Summit in South Africa
BRICS Summit in South Africa - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.05.2024
BRICS Summit in South Africa

Lanka Could Get Indian Support But Conditions Apply

Against this backdrop, Niranjan Marjani, a foreign policy expert associated with the Kalinga Institute of Indo-Pacific Studies (KIIPS), stated that India should support Sri Lanka's BRICS candidature, considering both countries have forged close ties.
"When one looks at the past two-three years, India was the first nation to assist Sri Lanka in the aftermath of its economic crisis, which resulted in a sovereign default in 2022," he told Sputnik India on Tuesday.
However, one must not forget that it would need a consensus among the members, the strategic affairs analyst emphasized.
"Moreover, other factors like Sri Lanka's economic stability would be factored in by the existing members of the grouping," Marjani noted.
Similar views were echoed by Dhananjay Tripathi, who serves as the chairperson of the Department of International Relations at the New Delhi-based South Asian University, who felt that because Sri Lanka was friends with India, it may get New Delhi's support on the issue.
"Barring the technicalities involved with the candidacy, India would welcome Sri Lanka in BRICS because in the past also it has supported the grouping's expansion," the South Asian University professor said in a conversation with Sputnik India.
Furthermore, India wishes to see as many countries from the Global South be a part of these multilateral organizations, including BRICS, Tripathi added.

"In principle, New Delhi would have no problem in supporting Sri Lanka's BRICS candidature. But since it is a weakened economy, surviving on loans from friendly nations like India and global lenders like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it would be difficult for the group's existing members to admit it," the academician asserted.

Why South Asian Nations are Eager to Join BRICS?

Meanwhile, Marjani underlined that South Asian sovereign states were looking forward to joining BRICS, but there were concerns about what they would bring to the table in terms of economic benefits. For instance, both Sri Lanka and Pakistan were in financial distress and were negotiating with the IMF for a bailout package.

Explaining the reasons behind the clamor for joining BRICS amongst South Asian nations, he mentioned that no form of regional cooperation was taking place in the region.

The only regional body that featured all the members of South Asia, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), was now a defacto-defunct organization due to sharp differences between India and Pakistan.
"Hence at the individual level, South Asian countries, including India have looked beyond the region to participate in global forums. India itself has been a part of multiple such initiatives like BIMSTEC, ASEAN, SCO, G20, and BRICS amongst others," Marjani highlighted.
In this July 9, 2015, file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin prepare to shake hands prior to their talks during the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia. - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.04.2024
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