13:54 GMT17 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): National leaders from five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are meeting in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia on Wednesday amid trade wars and sanctions by the United States.

    The BRICS leaders are expected to mull over collective efforts to counter unilateral sanctions when they meet on Wednesday in Brasilia, said a Russian diplomat stationed in New Delhi.

    Without directly mentioning the US, Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin told reporters that the grouping “will give new impetus to efforts to overcome uncertainty and turbulence in a world with growing conflict potential as certain countries withdraw from basic agreements aimed at ensuring strategic stability".

    “It’s ‘Kaliyuga’ – (referring to the dark age in Indian mythology). We are witnessing a growing conflict of issues in the world. The architecture of security and strategic stability are being jeopardised while some countries are withdrawing from basic agreements. We also are facing unjustified and unilateral financial and economic sanctions, trade wars", the diplomat continued.

    Babushkin said the five-member bloc, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, might finalise a Local Currency Bond Fund to overcome unilateral trade and economic sanctions against member nations by certain countries. He said the Bond could be used for financial transactions and financial instruments and that the leaders would take stock of the progress of its implementation.

    Russia, India, and China are facing US trade sanctions for different reasons. Washington has imposed economic and trade sanctions on Moscow on various grounds, including following Crimea's reunification with Russia as a result of a democratic referendum.

    Since mid-2018, the United States and China have been locked in a trade confrontation that has resulted in several rounds of retaliatory tariffs. Washington's tariffs against Beijing have caused a reduction in imports of the tariffed products by more than 25 percent.

    Indo-US trade tensions deepened when Washington announced New Delhi's removal from the GSP regime in June this year. In response, India imposed retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products, worth $240 million.

    Besides global economic situation, the BRICS leaders will also deliberate on building mechanisms for counter terrorism cooperation and enhancing cooperation in the digital economy.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also hold separate bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the the BRICS business forum. Both Modi and Putin will also exchange notes on the progress of bilateral cooperation in sectors like e-commerce, defence, health, science and technology and the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor, said Babushkin.

    BRICS brings together five major emerging economies comprising 42 percent of the world's population, with 23 percent of the global GDP and around 17 percent of the share of world trade.


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