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Eager to Escape Perceived Western Domination, Several Countries Look to Join the BRICS Bloc

The five-country bloc (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is also looking to grow its global partnerships. BRICS has come to be viewed as challenging the counter hegemony of the US and its allies, seen as meddling in the internal affairs of other states. Reuters estimates that more than 40 states are aspiring to join BRICS. South African diplomat Anil Sooklal says 13 had formally applied by May 2023. Many, though not all, of the aspiring joiners have this overtly political motivation of countering US hegemony. The other important incentive is access to funds from the BRICS’ New Development Bank. This is especially pronounced in the post-COVID climate in which many economies are yet to fully recover. Of course the two can overlap, as in the case of Iran. The notable applicants have included Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Ethiopia, Argentina, Algeria, Iran, Mexico, and Turkey.