© Aleksey Druzhinin/TASS
On Thursday, September 9, the 8th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit was held, with India as its chairman. This year, the association marks its 15th anniversary. The events in Afghanistan naturally became the focus of attention, symbolizing continued formation of a multipolar world, with BRICS itself being one of its powerhouses.
The summit was held under the title "Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus." The meeting was due in New Delhi by personal attendance, but the COVID-19 pandemic made its adjustments to result in a video conference mode, which did not generally prevent its successful and effective operation, with its outcome enshrined in a joint declaration.
It should be noted that India has identified four priority areas for its presidency in 2021. These are: multilateral system reform, combating terrorism, engagement of digital and technological tools to achieve sustainable development, and strengthened humanitarian contacts. The current summit also witnessed the leaders of the five BRICS countries exchange views on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other current global and regional issues. The latter certainly featured the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban movement (banned in Russia) came to power last month.
Touching upon the Afghan issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted in his speech that regional conflicts are breaking out with a vengeance. The President stressed the following: "Far from being settled, long-standing regional conflicts are flaring up with renewed force. The withdrawal of the US and their allies from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis situation, and it remains unclear how it will affect regional and global security."
According to Putin, the crisis in Afghanistan was caused by irresponsible attempts to introduce foreign values in this country from outside. "I have mentioned many times that the current round of the crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of irresponsible extraneous attempts to impose someone else’s values on the country and to build “democratic structures” using socio-political engineering techniques, ignoring the historical and national specifics of other nations and the traditions by which they live," the Russian leader stated. As such, Vladimir Putin added that Russia, along with other BRICS countries, is closely monitoring the current situation in Afghanistan.
In his speech, President Putin urged BRICS to build effective cooperation, as well as to develop and enhance the system of multipolarity across the globe. "It is important to maintain and promote mutually respectful, constructive and meaningful interaction at the global level, to strengthen the emerging multipolar system which comprises independent centers of economic growth and political influence," the head of state stressed.
Vladimir Putin also noted that the global situation remains extremely turbulent, with global security being put on trial, for which cause hand-in-glove work of the BRICS countries remains relevant. The Russian president pointed to the association's growing weight and noticeable role in international affairs.
Other participants in the summit also dwelt on the importance of BRICS' role worldwide. Thus, Chinese President Xi Jinping is sure that this association is a force to be reckoned with in the international arena. "Our five countries have supported multilateralism and taken part in global governance in the spirit of equity justice and mutual assistance and we have become an important force on the international stage to be reckoned with," Xi Jinping said, speaking at the BRICS summit on Thursday.
The current crisis in Afghanistan made this abundantly clear, as the collective West demonstrated its complete helplessness and underperformance and was forced to reach out to Russia and China in dealing with the Afghan problem. But the BRICS members will unlikely agree to clean up the mess in Afghanistan, where the coalition has been robbing and destroying the local population for 20 years, as well as to take credit for the lawlessness of the United States and its allies. Another thing is that the five countries are ready to help the people of Afghanistan, provide humanitarian aid and assist in restoring economy, which would contribute to bringing the situation in that country on to a normal track and ensuring stability in the region as a whole. This point, be it noted, was reflected in the summit's final declaration.
As for Russia, the risk of the Taliban's infiltration into the countries of Central Asia and further northwards is particularly pressing. China is clearly concerned about prospects of heightened tensions in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region that is mainly populated by the Muslim Uyghurs. India is obviously unhappy with the role of Pakistani special services in establishing the Taliban authority. Thus, all the three countries are vitally interested in a prompt stabilization in Afghanistan, but not at the expense of a militant surge beyond its borders. And direct communication between the leaders of Russia, India and China within BRICS helps develop a common action plan, for those really able to make a difference.
This catches the eye in case with Afghanistan, proving both the West's geopolitical frustration and utter non-viability of the regimes it establishes elsewhere in the world. This is a perfect lesson for countries and politicians who are still seeking help from the United States and Europe. Amid the collective West's obvious inferiority, BRICS demonstrates a pattern of efficient performance as regards the most important planet-scale challenges, offering the world an alternative to the lame dominance of America and its allies. This alternative, along with a rejection of the imposed Western agenda, is key to success in solving not only the Afghan problem, but also any other challenges facing the present-day world.