UFA (Sputnik) — BRICS is not rushing to add new member states, but new members may be welcomed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday.
BRICS is a group of five emerging economies consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
"BRICS is not an organization, it is a collection of countries that are united by national interests. We think that the current format is an optimal one… After South Africa became participating state, the leaders decided to declare a moratorium for accepting new members. We do not exclude anything. What will happen, should be driven by national interest," Ryabkov, who is Russia's BRICS sherpa, told reporters in English.
In 2001, the group was known as BRIC, as it included Brazil, Russia, India and China as four of the world's most rapidly growing economies, measured by gross domestic product (GDP).
The name was modified to BRICS after South Africa joined the group in December 2010.
BRICS member states are currently participating in the group's seventh annual summit held in the Russian city of Ufa on July 8-10.