I am very pleased to see you at the Foreign Ministry during the first BRICS Youth Summit in Moscow.
BRICS is a young association built on innovative approaches and principles that reflect the needs of the time and comport with the current state of world development. The world is changing. A search is underway for the best forms for a polycentric arrangement of international relations, with several growth points and centres of gravity, representing different models of civilisation and development. These principles underlie BRICS’ formation and activities. Its goal is to create favourable conditions, first and foremost, for the comprehensive development of our countries and prosperity of our citizens.
Russia holds the Presidency of BRICS this year and has an extensive programme that was supported by each of the five countries. It aims to make as much concrete progress as possible in the areas that our presidents have identified as BRICS priorities. We are coordinating approaches and already carrying out joint projects in several areas. Our practical activities are entering an important new stage. We are completing preparations for launching BRICS financial institutions – the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement. We are about to adopt a long-term strategy for diversified economic partnership. In general, we are striving to expand the range of our cooperation.
Apart from having a practical and pragmatic agenda, BRICS has already become an influential factor in world politics and the global economy. The leaders of our association are going to meet in Ufa next week. We hope that the decisions adopted there will give fresh impetus to the development of BRICS as a key element of the current system of global governance.
We are not teaming up against anyone. To the contrary, we are focusing on promoting a positive, unifying agenda in international relations. The common position of our countries is playing a major stabilising role in world affairs. This balanced position is promoting the search for and application of fair approaches to urgent issues on the agenda of the international community. The five BRICS countries stand for the supremacy of international law, the consolidation of the UN’s central role, peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes, and the right of nations to determine their destinies themselves and preserve their traditions, values and culture. BRICS is making a large contribution to strengthening the global financial and economic architecture, and it is playing an active role in reforming the international monetary and financial system. These issues are being discussed by the G20, which includes all of the five BRICS countries. During discussions on reforming the international financial and monetary system, our countries do not act on their own. They have a solid group of support that includes Argentina, Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among others. Thus, BRICS is also a centre of gravity for those who think the same way and favour a more just system of international relations, including economic ties.
Naturally, the ambitious tasks facing the five partner countries cannot be resolved without a solid foundation of friendship and trust between our peoples, greater people-to-people contacts and constructive cooperation between civil society representatives.
We are paying special attention to cultural and academic cooperation in BRICS. The civil and academic forums have already been held, making a useful contribution to integrating the creative intellectual potential of the five states. Exchanges for young people are of special significance for such a young and future-oriented association as BRICS. You, young people, will soon assume responsibility for everything that is taking place at home, in foreign policy and in the world arena. We appreciate the significance of your current meeting and will provide comprehensive support for youth exchanges. I know that you have a busy programme both in Moscow and Kazan. I assume some of you will also come to Ufa. We will continue supporting your initiatives and youth-related projects, such as the BRICS Network University. A global university summit is scheduled to take place in Russia in autumn. If any of you are students, you are welcome to attend.
Now I’m ready to answer your questions.