THE navies of China, Russia and South Africa are preparing for their first joint drills on the Atlantic-Indian border. The latest Russian frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov, armed with the Zircon hypersonic missile, has arrived in Cape Town to take part in the maneuvers, launched on February 17.
In recent years, Russia, China and South Africa have actively developed cooperation in the political, trade and economic spheres based on the BRICS interstate association structure.
This organization established back in 2006, bringing together major politico-military and economic powers that did not seek to integrate into Euro-Atlantic blocs and commonwealths. At the first stage of its development, BRICS was represented by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, whose first letters were used to name the new organization.
In its early stages, BRICS did not declare any ambitious goals, being more a discussion platform than a prototype of a major political-military or economic alliance. As the economies of the international organization’s members grew, their cooperation on a common platform dynamically expanded, spreading into the fields of industry, energy, the financial system, science and culture.
The joint projects of the BRICS countries over the 18 years have steadily expanded, allowing to level out many crisis factors in the global economy and to mitigate political contradictions between the participants.
The first step for the BRICS to evolve into something beyond an international business club was its active involvement in resolving the situation around Syria and Iran, as well as the launch of a number of ambitious infrastructure and humanitarian projects in developing countries in Africa.
Since 2015, the international organization has been quietly but actively working on its expansion through strong regional states.
To date, Algeria, Argentina and Iran have formally applied to join the BRICS, and 12 other major countries have announced their desire to join in the coming years.
The events of recent years, when during a period of pandemic, economic crisis and Western sanctions war against Moscow and Beijing, BRICS proved to be a quite effective tool for maintaining the economic development and political stability of its participants, obviously stimulated the beginning of a new stage in the history of this organization.
Although the naval maneuvers of Russia, China and South Africa fleets are not officially linked to the development of BRICS, both the composition of the participants and the region where they are held indicate that the new facet of BRICS is exactly the politico-military and military-technical area. Besides the fact that the joint presence of the Russian and Chinese navies on major international trade lines supported by South Africa is by itself a potential challenge to NATO, the upcoming drills demonstrate the desire of at least three BRICS members to find credible allies facing the threat of conflict with Euro-Atlantic powers. Other BRICS members are Brazil and India.