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27 March 2014, Gateway House

BRICS versus the G8?

A new equation is emerging between the BRICS countries and the informal grouping of the most industrialized economies, called the G8. The G8 has been reduced to G7 following Russia’s suspension. Of late, BRICS have taken an assertive stand against the G8 in economic as well as the geo-political fora

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BRICS countries are increasingly taking a stand which is against the position adopted by the G7 countries on various issues, the most recent being the rejection of sanctions against Russia post its annexation of Crimea. Russia, which was brought into the G8 in 1998, was recently suspended. The collective assertion of the BRICS is reflection of the new economic reality. The BRICS group of countries -Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa – comprise 43% of the world population and are among the fastest growing economies.


G8 (Now G7)


  1. June 2013: Germany & UK abstain but rest agree to back moderate-rebel groups through the supply of weapons and logistical support (Russia remains a firm backer of Syria government)
  2. Feb-March 2013: Imposition of sanctions on the Syrian government
  1. July 2012: Russia and China’s veto at the UN Security Council limited the armed intervention in Syria
  2. 2012 New Delhi Summit: Called for respect for Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty
  3. September 2013: Support diplomatic solution to Syrian crisis
  1. March- April 2011: France and UK backed rebels in their fight against Gaddafi regime through supply of weapons and training
  2. March 2011: NATO controlled the UN security council sanctioned no-fly zone during the revolution (Draft was prepared and tabled by France & UK)
  3. May 2011 Deauville Summit: Stated that Colonel Gaddafi had lost all legitimacy and asked him to step down
  1. March 2011: BRIC countries abstained from voting against a UN resolution on Libya (South Africa voted for it)
  2. April 2011: Joint declaration in Sanya against Western-led airstrikes in Libya
  1. July 2006: Individual & collective Sanctions through UN & EU grouping for its nuclear programme (U.S. has sanctions in place since 1979)
  2. December 2010: Ban on the supply of heavy weaponry, nuclear-related technology, block on arms exports, an asset freeze on key individuals and companies
  3. February 2012: Central Bank of Iran’s assets frozen
  1. March 2012 New Delhi Summit: Recognize Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy
  2. March 2012: Support resolution of the issues involved through political and diplomatic means
  3. October 2013: Iran enthusiastic about joining BRICS to beat western sanctions
IMF/World Bank as global financial institutions
  1. March 2013: U.S. one of the leading nations stalling governance reforms
  2. IMF and World Bank have till date had chiefs only from Western nations
  3. Increasingly are seen as institutions that support decisions backed by the G8 rather than a global outlook


  1. March 2012: Concerned at the slow pace of quota and governance reforms
  2. March 2013: To create a Development Bank with an initial corpus of $50 billion and creating $100 billion Currency Reserve Fund
  3. March 2013: BRICS countries signed an agreement to use their own currencies, instead of dollars, in international trade among themselves
Climate Change
  1. June 2013: Begin to limit the increase in global temperature below 2ºC by 2020 through a global effort
  2. November 2013: Focused on signing the emissions treaty in 2015, which will come into effect in 2020 to replace the Kyoto Protocol
  1. November 2013: World’s poor and developing countries walked out of the Climate change negotiations at the Warsaw conference
  2. November 2013: Principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities i.e. demand that rich countries bear economic costs for past emissions
  1. March 18, 2014: Sanctions imposed by U.S. and EU on Russian and Ukrainian individuals
  2. March 24, 2014: Russia suspended from G-8 and group to continue functioning as G7
  3. March 25, 2014: G7 reaffirmed support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence
  1. March 25, 2014: Rejected western sanctions against Russia
  2. March 26, 2014: Calls for challenges that exist within the regions of the BRICS countries must be addressed at the UN
  3. March 26, 2014: Oppose restrictions on Russia to come for the G-20 Summit in Australia later this year

Source: United Nations Security Council resolutions, Ministry of External Affairs-Government of India and BRICS Information Centre, University of Toronto

Compiled by Marisha Dolly Singh, Gateway House.

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