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13th BRICS Summit to Begin Under Indian PM Modi’s Leadership


13th BRICS Summit to Begin Under Indian PM Modi’s Leadership

Photo: DNAIndia/Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the 13th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit today.

The heads of state of Russia, China, Brazil, and South Africa will be in attendance. They will review progress in the four priority areas India outlined for its chairship. However, as last week’s trade ministers’ meeting indicates, Afghanistan will likely be the special focus of the summit. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, a country critical to Central Asian trade routes, has significant implications for Russia, China, and India.

Each nation has reacted differently to the Taliban’s rise—Russia holding precautionary military exercises in Central Asia, China attempting to integrate Afghanistan into its Belt and Road trade project and India quietly improving relations with the Taliban to mitigate violence in Kashmir.

Expect Modi, Putin, and Xi to reach a limited consensus on normalizing relations with the new Taliban government in the short term. While the Taliban consistently clashed with neighboring governments the last time they ruled Afghanistan, the powers of the region have no realistic option besides giving them another chance. In the medium term, however, India and China are likely to diverge on policy assuming Pakistani cooperation with the Taliban continues.

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