Sunday 10th of December 2023

the game of the century: the globalists vs the nationalists....

You will always find someone to ridicule an elaborate theory by comparing it to "a game of 3D chess" as if no one was able to play 3D chess. However, it is entertaining to note that Vladimir Putin has been leading a game of 3D chess since 2008 to put an end to globalism, the master ideology for dominating the planet of a very small international elite made up of international banks, large investment funds — investments and their multinationals.


by Sylvain Laforest


There is absolutely no point in observing the world through a political magnifying glass, since the IMF, the BIS, the World Bank, the Fed, BlackRock and Vanguard rule the world through their control over the oil companies, multinationals, pharmaceuticals, media, NGOs and their visible spokesperson, the World Economic Forum in Davos. The CIA and NATO do not listen to presidents and prime ministers, they are all in the pay of this globalist clique whose American endings are the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Biden, Macron, Trudeau and Scholz are mere performers, vulgar pawns on the chessboard.

Thus, the current life-and-death struggle between two ideologies is strictly economic. It is not that of the USA against Russia or China, but that of the Globalists against the Nationalists. THE New World Order, which has controlled world civilisation since 1944, is today threatened by those who want to respect the sovereignty and independence of nations, a movement started by one man, Vladimir Putin. Because lo and behold, nationalist politicians are not just pawns, but are actually using the power with which they have been invested. Fortunately, Putin is no longer alone, because he masterfully led his game of 3D chess, which is coming to an end.

Before continuing, I immediately justify the use of the English expression New World Order, rather than the Frenchified Nouvel Ordre Mondial. First of all, it's an Anglo-Saxon concept, not a French one. Then, there is a major translation error: the New World Order dates from 1944 and coincides with the Bretton-Woods conference that imposed the US dollar as the international reserve currency, following the Second World War. As essentially the world was transiting from the British Empire to the American Empire, what should be called theNew World World Order was imposed in 1944, and is now threatened by a rebelling part of the planet.

To understand the state of the world in this autumn of 2023, one must have a complete toolbox: hammering a screw with a hammer has never produced anything good, and at the moment, most journalists and analysts, independent all like mainstreams, try to drill holes with a plane, because most ignore a few basic precepts, at the source of ALL current global geopolitics. The paramount importance of economic analysis on its political application is one, and here is another even more important one.

An Achilles heel

Between 1999 and 2008, Vladimir Putin tried everything to integrate Russia into the international community, on the sole condition that Russia's sovereignty be respected there. On March 10, 2007, following the announcement by US President Bush Jr that Ukraine and Georgia were becoming candidates for NATO, Putin issues a first warning to the organisation which must stop its provocations through its illegitimate expansion, since a promise had been made in 1990 to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward, which it has never ceased to do since as far as the borders of Russia. With the war in Georgia in 2008, Putin finally understood that the globalist clique will never let Russia manage itself as it sees fit. He had only two options: drop the Russian people and hand his country over to the banks, or destroy globalism. Easier said than done, since the clique controls money creation and the global economy, and by extension, most of the world's armies.

I have the impression that Putin identified quite early in his crusade that the Achilles heel of the Banking Empire was the oil sector. Not other energies, just oil. The West has long feared losing control of the black gold market that it once held in the palm of its hand through military threats to producing countries. At the beginning of the 70s, Libya, Syria, then a little later Iran, came out of this control, which activated Plan B of "global warming caused by CO2" (product of the combustion of oil), and the sudden importance of one day considering an energy transition to other energy sources to save the planet from the imaginary blaze. Unfortunately for the clique that dreamed of it at the start of Plan B, they never found an energy capable of replacing oil for cargo ships, planes, agriculture and armies. And it is not for lack of having looked for an alternative, but to this day, oil remains the only energy to make the world economy work, based on the transport of goods. And then there is the double problem of the petrodollar: how to justify the value of a currency on an energy beyond its control? The dollar without oil, nor gold abandoned in 1971, is a monkey's currency. Ah, but Canada and the USA are at the top of the list of world producers? Absolutely, but their complicated operations are too expensive, it even loses money in the United States, where it is more advantageous to buy oil than to produce it. And they can no longer regulate prices to make their production profitable. Whoever controls the oil controls the world. Either you sell the only energy that makes the economy work, or you are a customer of it.

In a context of this expensive North American production, and dwindling reserves in the USA, the globalist house of cards therefore trembles on this evanescent energy. And it is here that the magic of the maestro of 3D chess operates, who took it into his head to bleed white globalism by withdrawing its blood, oil. To achieve this, in 2008 he launched a complete overhaul of the Russian military apparatus, which he must make almost invincible. Over the next decade, Russia began to invent the best defensive systems, the S-400 and Pantsir; the best electronic jammers such as the Murmansk-BN; an array of unstoppable hypersonic offensive missiles, including Kinjals and Zircons; the best planes and bombers of the Sukhoi range; finally, the deterrent nuclear nightmares Sarmat, Avangard and Poseidon which expose the flanks of the West without any possible defense. Besides submarines, Putin wasted no time tinkering with the navy, the West's flagship and only notable advantage, because in this age of hypersonic missiles, aircraft carriers are now floating ducks waiting to sink. 

By coupling this rearmament with an overhaul of the Russian army, nationalising the production of weapons in passing to counter the prohibitive costs that come with the private sector like the one that drains Western economies, then by creating the private company Wagner, he well and truly created an invincible, flexible military machine. Hence his 3D attack, eating the pawns on three floors, allowing the oil producers to win their independence, with the promise of protecting their backs by disintegrating the control of the globalists in this crucial market.


The Globalists Under Attack

International banks saw the blow coming and tried to overtake Putin by launching the Arab Spring in 2011 in 9 strategic countries, including Syria, the main obstacle blocking Israel's old enlargement plan (The plan for Greater Israel, published in 1982), a metaphor for the takeover of almost all the oil in the Arabian Peninsula by Israel, the New World Order proxy in the Middle East. In 2011, Russia was not yet militarily ready to intervene, and Putin watched with horror the fate reserved for Gaddafi, a great nationalist who had saved Libya from Western chaos for four decades.

Russia was still not ready in 2014 and he watched the CIA revolutionize Ukraine and commit new atrocities, including a massacre in Odessa, the bombing of the people of Donbass, and the hot blast from NATO that was getting closer. From the following year, even if Russia had not yet completed its new arsenal, Putin understood that he had to risk losing his queen to prevent Bashar al-Assad from falling in Syria, and on September 29, 2015, he finally attacks the fake terrorists/real Western mercenaries that are ISIS and al-Qaeda, mandated to put Syria in tune with the West. This decisive aid to the Syrian army was a first direct kick from the Russian leader on the New World Order. By preventing the globalists from crushing Syria, Putin has prevented them from bringing together all the derricks of Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and in part, those of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, or in other words, the assured control of the oil market. For the West, Putin has become the number one sworn enemy.

In February 2022, Russia was finally ready. S-400, Kinjals, Zircons, electronic jamming, artillery, drones, latest generation Sukhoi, Sarmat and Avangard, it was all there. Upon entering Ukraine, Putin knew he would face the full force of NATO, which would invest money, equipment and men there, only to realise that in the face of the new Russian army, none of the onerous arsenal of NATO does hold water. The only thing NATO’s military gear does better than Russian gear is burn. For Ukrainian conscripts who do not claim Stepan Bandera, the debacle is an unspeakable tragedy, but if Putin had let it happen, it would be an apocalypse that would engulf far beyond Ukraine.


Economic scuttling

For the globalists, the coronavirus pandemic was a necessary prelude to terrorise the people and ensure their obedience for when the painful change from a democracy to the austere totalitarianism scheduled for the program of the Economic Forum would come. With the abandonment of part of the oil, the West triggered at the same time the self-destruction of its economies. Moreover, the elimination of bankrupt small businesses both favours the business of multinationals and frees up the space necessary for the construction of 15-minute cities, other objectives of the plutocrats. All current scientific nonsense, be it anthropogenic global warming, veganism propaganda, plastic in the oceans, the transition to wind turbines and other absurd themes, is linked to the simple fact that the West has become a customer of oil, whose it no longer controls the price or the supply. As their media massively lose control over the thinking of the people, they have no choice but to descend into totalitarianism via digital identity and social credit, if they want to avoid being lynched in the public square for 3 years of continuous attacks against the population.

The massive over-indebtedness of nations in the name of support for an imaginary virus was also intended, to justify a revival by the Great Reset (or Grande Réinitialisation) of currencies, including the cancellation of national debts in exchange for the abandonment of private property. and the creation of a single common crypto currency, without printed paper, the CBDCs. In the current situation, this currency would have no value, because too much of the planet does not want this reset of a few countries that have willingly dug their graves and have nothing to instil value in this currency, even not trust.


Vlad's secret weapon

The problem for the West is that to work, the Great Reset must be global, and again Putin parried the attack by creating a parallel economic system to SWIFT, with the help of China and India. . Several facets of this Russian-Chinese economic system have become household names: Shanghai Cooperation, New Silk Road, BRICS. They are all working in the same direction, paying for their imports with national currencies, in a common spirit of dedollarisation. The SWIFT system begins to drift, no one wants to deal with western liars who seize and punish according to the mood, and since Russia is now the strongest, countries are no longer afraid to jump the fence of nationalism, in becoming defectors from globalism.

On the side of the oil producers, Iran, Venezuela, Algeria and Qatar are already protected, and in 2023 came a smoking blow on the chessboard, when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates put themselves in the lead join the BRICS. The West lost its two towers. It only remains to evacuate the USA from Syria, Iraq and Libya for Putin to finish rallying all the major producers.

The multipolar bulldozer works on several levels: after Russia, India and China all shunned COP-21 in Glasgow in 2021, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the West to maintain its warmist narrative, while part of the world no longer pretends to save the planet. If you doubt China's involvement, know that Xi has just officially abandoned the Paris Climate Accords (July 2023), crippling the official story of global warming by CO2, this carbon instrumentalised to demolish the lives of the people we want to plunge into an Orwellian totalitarianism. The BRICS countries have chosen to continue to develop their economies with the only resource available for transport, oil. Their motivation is far from the globalism imposed by military imperialism, but seeks the prosperity generated by cooperation. The BRICS have chosen reality and humanity.   


Africa rises up

The tsunami of nationalism engendered by Putin's geopolitical dexterity is underway and swelling like a sail in the wind. The very recent case of the overthrow of the Western puppet in Niger, at the exact moment when the Russia-Africa summit was being held, is symptomatic of the times: Russia is rallying almost entire continents to its cause. Seeing Asia, Africa and South America slipping through its fingers, announcing the end-final of colonisation, the globalist clique loses after oil the remaining resources it plundered from others. The former colonies no longer fear the debts of the IMF, because there is now a way out and they know they are protected. If you still doubt the fear caused by the Russian military and nuclear arsenal to the globalists, quickly consult the list of about thirty countries that have already expressed their interest in joining the new Russian-Chinese economic system.

Throughout his 3D game, Putin made the right choices. From now on, the Western governments are placed in front of a wall, and to break it down, they have no choice but to abandon the globalist ideology and the economic system erected into global tyranny by the international banks and other plutocrats, to get on the nationalist economic multipolar train, where autonomy and sovereignty will be respected. They must sacrifice queen and king to survive. The alternative is to risk the revolution of the peoples by plunging them into a social slump and an economic hole from which the banks would never get out. But what to do with debt? We just have to cut the thread with the banks, which will be swept away by the weight of the debts they have caused, and do what is fashionable on the side of multipolarity, that is to say opt for national currencies.

The empire of lies no longer has a plan B or C or D. The West is isolated, its army is naked, its missiles obsolete, its media in disgrace and they are losing control of all the resources that feed its wealth. dummy. Under internal pressures that no longer want a plan of economic destruction without possible resolution at the end, the globalist governments of the young leaders of the GEF fall; Ardern in New Zealand, Sanchez in Spain, Rutte in the Netherlands and the others will follow. And we will have to replace them with real nationalists, not disguised globalists à la Giorgia Melloni. If Trump could unseat the Democrats in 2024, it would be the final nail on globalism, causing its wokism, its imaginary warming* and its slow medical genocide of nations in the dustbin of history.  

From now on, you can take with a grain of salt the multiple geopolitical analyses which distinguish the political interests of the USA from those of the EU, or which say that "Biden forbids Zelensky to negotiate» ; these are attributes of the same plutocracy, which itself wants to sacrifice Europe to bail out its American queen. Besides, anything that doesn't take into account in his analytical framework what Putin has accomplished through oil is porridge for the cats. And the most tragic thing is that even if it becomes as obvious as the eyes in the face, hardly anyone has understood yet. It's the basic precept to everything happening today in 2023, and it's why Bobby Fisher has decided not to play the comeback game. Putin has an insurmountable military lead and he certainly won't wait for the US military industrial complex to catch up: this time he won't stop until the West lays down its king. If it doesn't come after Ukraine, he will continue, and a few moves away from checkmate, he would be crazy to abandon his crusade.



climate change....

* This is a curly issue...


The main problem is that the globalists are using this problem as a WEAPON to subjugate the nationalists.

How do we know this? 




So, we live in LALALAND, including the Weather Channel creator, who says that climate change isn't happening (see: fire on fire....). When this guy claims that he has the science on his side, he hasn't. The science is clear: there is global warming and it is induced by EXTRA warming gases: CO2, methane and NOXs.... The EXTRA warming gases are coming from HUMAN ACTIVITIES. 


At present the "nationalists" have to fight against the globalists... Unfortunately, the question of GLOBLA WARMING (aka climate change) has been packaged with the globalists' endeavour to control the world for their own benefits...


The Maui fires had nothing much to do with global warming, though the intensity of the wind then, may have.....




FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW.................

BRICS declaration....

XV BRICS Summit 

Johannesburg II Declaration 

BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism 

Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa Wednesday 23 August 2023



1. We, the Leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa met in Sandton, South Africa, from 22 to 24 August 2023 for the XV BRICS Summit held under the theme: "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism".

2. We reaffirm our commitment to the BRICS spirit of mutual respect and understanding, sovereign equality, solidarity, democracy, openness, inclusiveness, strengthened collaboration and consensus. As we build upon 15 years of BRICS Summits, we further commit ourselves to strengthening the framework of mutually beneficial BRICS cooperation under the three pillars of political and security, economic and financial, and cultural and people-to-people cooperation and to enhancing our strategic partnership for the benefit of our people through the promotion of peace, a more representative, fairer international order, a reinvigorated and reformed multilateral system, sustainable development and inclusive growth.


Partnership for Inclusive Multilateralism 

3. We reiterate our commitment to inclusive multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as its indispensable cornerstone, and the central role of the UN in an international system in which sovereign states cooperate to maintain peace and security, advance sustainable development, ensure the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and promoting cooperation based on the spirit of solidarity, mutual respect, justice and equality.

4. We express concern about the use of unilateral coercive measures, which are incompatible with the principles of the Charter of the UN and produce negative effects notably in the developing world. We reiterate our commitment to enhancing and improving global governance by promoting a more agile, effective, efficient, representative, democratic and accountable international and multilateral system.

5. We call for greater representation of emerging markets and developing countries, in international organizations and multilateral fora in which they play an important role. We also call for increasing the role and share of women from EMDCs at different levels of responsibilities in the international organizations.

6. We reiterate the need for all countries to cooperate in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms under the principles of equality and mutual respect. We agree to continue to treat all human rights including the right to development in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. We agree to strengthen cooperation on issues of common interests both within BRICS and in multilateral fora including the United Nations General Assembly and Human Rights Council, taking into account the necessity to promote, protect and fulfil human rights in a non-selective, non-politicised and constructive manner and without double standards. We call for the respect of democracy and human rights. In this regard, we underline that they should be implemented on the level of global governance as well as at national level. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all with the aim to build a brighter shared future for the international community based on mutually beneficial cooperation.

7. We support a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more democratic, representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries in the Council’s memberships so that it can adequately respond to prevailing global challenges and support the legitimate aspirations of emerging and developing countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America, including Brazil, India and South Africa, to play a greater role in international affairs, in particular in the United Nations, including its Security Council.

8. We reaffirm our support for the open, transparent, fair, predictable, inclusive, equitable, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core, with special and differential treatment (S&DT) for developing countries, including Least Developed Countries. We stress our support to work towards positive and meaningful outcomes on the issues at the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13). We commit to engage constructively to pursue the necessary WTO reform with a view to presenting concrete deliverables to MC13. We call for the restoration of a fully and well-functioning two-tier binding WTO dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024, and the selection of new Appellate Body Members without further delay.

9. We call for the need to make progress towards the achievement of a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system, ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, promoting sustainable agriculture and food systems, and implement resilient agricultural practices. We emphasize the need to deliver on agriculture reform in accordance with the mandate in Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture, while recognizing the importance of respecting the mandates with regards to a Permanent Solution on Public Stockholding (PSH) for food security purposes and special safeguard mechanism (SSM) for developing countries, including LDCs, in their respective negotiating contexts. BRICS members are also concerned with trade restrictive measures which are inconsistent with WTO rules, including unilateral illegal measures such as sanctions, that affect agricultural trade.

10. We support a robust Global Financial Safety Net with a quota-based and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre. We call for the conclusion of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) 16th General Review of Quotas before 15 December 2023. The review should restore the primary role of quotas in the IMF. Any adjustment in quota shares should result in increases in the quota shares of emerging markets and developing economies (EMDCs), while protecting the voice and representation of the poorest members. We call for reform of the Bretton Woods institutions, including for a greater role for emerging markets and developing countries, including in leadership positions in the Bretton Woods institutions, that 4 reflect the role of EMDCs in the world economy.


Fostering an Environment of Peace and Development 

11. We welcome the Joint Statement of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Relations meeting on 1 June 2023 and note the 13th Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors and High Representatives on National Security held on 25 July 2023.

12. We are concerned about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and inclusive consultations in a coordinated and cooperative manner and support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises.

13. We recognise the importance of the increased participation of women in peace processes including in conflict prevention and resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and development, and sustaining peace.

14. We stress our commitment to multilateralism and to the central role of the United Nations which are prerequisites to maintain peace and security. We call on the international community to support countries in working together towards postpandemic economic recovery. We emphasise the importance of contributing to postconflict countries’ reconstruction and development and call upon the international community to assist countries in meeting their development goals. We stress the imperative of refraining from any coercive measures not based on international law and the UN Charter.

15. We reiterate the need for full respect of international humanitarian law in conflict situations and the provision of humanitarian aid in accordance with the basic principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence established in UNGA resolution 46/182.

16. We commend continued collective efforts of the United Nations, the African Union and sub-regional organisations, including in particular the cooperation between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council, to address regional challenges including maintaining peace and security, promoting peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and development, and call for continued 5 support by the international community to these endeavours using diplomatic means such as dialogue, negotiations, consultations, mediation, and good offices, to resolve international disputes and conflicts, settle them on the basis of mutual respect, compromise, and the balance of legitimate interests. We reiterate that the principle “African solutions to African problems” should continue to serve as the basis for conflict resolution. In this regard we support African peace efforts on the continent by strengthening the relevant capacities of African States. We are concerned about the worsening violence in Sudan. We urge the immediate cessation of hostilities and call for the unimpeded access of the Sudanese population to humanitarian assistance. We remain concerned at the situation in the Sahel region, in particular in the Republic of Niger. We support the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya. We reiterate our support for a “Libyan led and Libyan-owned” political process with UN-led mediation as the main channel. We emphasize the need to achieve an enduring and mutually acceptable political solution to the question of Western Sahara in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and in fulfilment of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

17. We welcome the positive developments in the Middle East and the efforts by BRICS countries to support development, security and stability in the region. In this regard, we endorse the Joint Statement by the BRICS Deputy Foreign Ministers and Special Envoys for the Middle East and North Africa at their meeting of 26 April 2023. We welcome the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran and emphasise that deescalating tensions and managing differences through dialogue and diplomacy is key to peaceful coexistence in this strategically important region of the world. We reaffirm our support for Yemen’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and commend the positive role of all the parties involved in bringing about a ceasefire and seeking a political solution to end the conflict. We call on all parties to engage in inclusive direct negotiations and to support the provision of humanitarian, relief and development assistance to the Yemeni people. We support all efforts conducive to a political and negotiated solution that respects Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity and the promotion of a lasting settlement to the Syrian crisis. We welcome the readmission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the League of Arab States. We express our deep concern at the dire humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories due to escalating violence under continued Israeli occupation and the expansion of illegal settlements. We call on the international community to support direct negotiations based on international law including relevant UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, towards a two-state solution, leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine. We commend the extensive work carried out by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and call for greater international support for UNRWA activities to alleviate the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people.

18. We express serious concern with the ongoing deterioration of the security, humanitarian, political and economic situation in Haiti. We believe that the current crisis requires a Haitian-led solution that encompasses national dialogue and consensus building among local political forces, institutions and the society. We call on the international community to support the Haitian endeavours to dismantle the gangs, enhance the security situation and put in place the foundations for long-lasting social and economic development in the country.

19. We recall our national positions concerning the conflict in and around Ukraine as expressed at the appropriate fora, including the UNSC and UNGA. We note with appreciation relevant proposals of mediation and good offices aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy, including the African Leaders Peace Mission and the proposed path for peace.

20. We call for the strengthening of disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC), recognizing its role in safeguarding and for preserving their integrity and effectiveness to maintain global stability and international peace and security. We underline the need to comply with and strengthen the BTWC, including by adopting a legally binding Protocol to the Convention that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. We reassert our support for ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and of its weaponization, including through negotiations to adopt a relevant legally binding multilateral instrument. We recognise the value of the updated Draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT) submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in 2014. We stress that practical and non-binding commitments, such as Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs), may also contribute to PAROS.

21. We reiterate the need to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through peaceful and diplomatic means in accordance with the international law, and stress the importance of preserving the JCPOA and the UNSCR 2231 to international non-proliferation as well as wider peace and stability and hope for relevant parties to restore the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA at an early date.

22. We express strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed. We recognize the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalization. We are committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens. We reiterate that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, and human rights, emphasizing that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area. We also stress the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment. We reject double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism. We call for an expeditious finalization and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework and for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism, at the Conference of Disarmament. We welcome the activities of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group and its five Subgroups based upon the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Action Plan. We look forward to further deepening counter-terrorism cooperation.

23. While emphasising the formidable potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for growth and development, we recognise the existing and emerging possibilities they bring for criminal activities and threats, and express concern over the increasing level and complexity of criminal misuse of ICTs. We welcome the ongoing efforts in the Ad Hoc Committee to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes and reaffirm our commitment to cooperating in the implementation of the mandate adopted by the UN General Assembly resolution 75/282 in a timely manner.

24. We reaffirm our commitment to the promotion of an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT-environment, underscored the importance of enhancing common understandings and intensifying cooperation in the use of ICTs and Internet. We support the leading role of the United Nations in promoting constructive dialogue on ensuring ICT-security, including within the UN Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of ICTs 2021-2025, and developing a universal legal framework in this realm. We call for a comprehensive, balanced, objective approach to the development and security of ICT products and systems. We underscore the importance of establishing legal frameworks of cooperation among BRICS countries on ensuring security in the use of ICTs. We also acknowledge the need to advance practical intra-BRICS cooperation through implementation of the BRICS Roadmap of Practical Cooperation on ensuring security in the use of ICTs and the activities of the BRICS Working Group on security in the use of ICTs.

25. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen international cooperation and our collaboration against corruption and continue to implement the relevant international agreements in this regard, in particular the United Nations Convention against Corruption. With the knowledge that the scourge of corruption knows no geographic boundaries, and respects no society or humanitarian cause, we have jointly put in place a strong foundation to combat corruption through capacity building, including, conducting training programmes and sharing of current best practices applied in each of our countries. We will continue to reinforce these efforts and increase our knowledge of the emerging avenues. We will enhance international cooperation through collaborative information-sharing networks, and mutual legal assistance to combat illicit financial flows, counter safe havens and support the investigation, prosecution and recovery of stolen assets subject to domestic laws and regulations of BRICS countries.


Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth 

26. We note that an unbalanced recovery from the shock and hardship of the pandemic is aggravating inequality across the world. The global growth momentum has weakened, and the economic prospects have declined owing to trade fragmentation, prolonged high inflation, tighter global financial conditions, in particular the increase in interest rates in advanced economies, geopolitical tensions and increased debt vulnerabilities.

27. We encourage multilateral financial institutions and international organizations to play a constructive role in building global consensus on economic policies and preventing systemic risks of economic disruption and financial fragmentation. We call for Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to continue implementing the recommendations which should be voluntary within MDBs governance frameworks, from the G20 Independent Review Report on MDBs Capital Adequacy Frameworks to increase their lending capacities, while safeguarding MDBs long-term financial stability, robust creditor rating, and preferred creditor status.

28. We believe that multilateral cooperation is essential to limit the risks stemming from geopolitical and geoeconomic fragmentation and intensify efforts on areas of mutual interest, including but not limited to, trade, poverty and hunger reduction, sustainable development, including access to energy, water and food, fuel, fertilizers, as well as mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change, education, health as well as pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

29. We note that high debt levels in some countries reduce the fiscal space needed to address ongoing development challenges aggravated by spillover effects from external shocks, particularly from sharp monetary tightening in advanced economies. Rising interest rates and tighter financing conditions worsen debt vulnerabilities in many countries. We believe it is necessary to address the international debt agenda properly to support economic recovery and sustainable development, while taking into account each nation’s laws and internal procedures. One of the instruments, amongst others, to collectively address debt vulnerabilities is through the predictable, orderly, timely and coordinated implementation of the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatment, with the participation of official bilateral creditors, private creditors and Multilateral Development Banks in line with the principle of joint action and fair burden-sharing.

30. We reaffirm the importance of the G20 to continue playing the role of the premier multilateral forum in the field of international economic and financial cooperation that comprises both developed and emerging markets and developing countries where major economies jointly seek solutions to global challenges. We look forward to the successful hosting of the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi under the Indian G20 Presidency. We note the opportunities to build sustained momentum for change by India, Brazil and South Africa presiding over the G20 from 2023 to 2025 and expressed support for continuity and collaboration in their G20 presidencies and wish them all success in their endeavours. Therefore, we are committed to a balanced approach by continuing to amplify and further integrate the voice of the global South in the G20 agenda as under the Indian Presidency in 2023 and the Brazilian and South African presidencies in 2024 and 2025.

31. We recognize the important role of BRICS countries working together to deal with risks and challenges to the world economy in achieving global recovery and sustainable development. We reaffirm our commitment to enhance macro-economic policy coordination, deepen economic cooperation, and work to realize strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic recovery. We emphasize the importance of continued implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership 2025 in all relevant ministerial tracks and working groups. We will look to identify solutions for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

32. Recognising that BRICS countries produce one third of the world's food, we reaffirm our commitment to strengthen agricultural cooperation and promote sustainable agriculture and rural development of BRICS countries for enhancing food security both within BRICS and worldwide. We emphasize the strategic importance of facilitating steady access to agricultural inputs, on ensuring global food security. We reiterate the importance of implementing the Action Plan 2021-2024 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries, and welcome the Strategy on Food Security Cooperation of the BRICS Countries. We underscore the need for resilient food supply chains.

33. We recognize the dynamism of the digital economy in enabling global economic growth. We also recognize the positive role that trade and investment can play in promoting sustainable development, national and regional industrialization, the transition towards sustainable consumption and production patterns. We recognize the challenges facing trade and investment development in the digital era and acknowledge that BRICS members are at different levels of digital development, and thus recognize the need to address respective challenges including the various digital divides. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Digital Economy Working Group. We reaffirm that openness, efficiency, stability, reliability, are crucial in tackling economic recovery challenges and boosting international trade and investment. We encourage further cooperation among BRICS countries to enhance the interconnectivity of supply chains and payment systems to promote trade and investment flows. We agree to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in trade in services as established in the BRICS Framework for Cooperation on Trade in Services, with the BRICS Business Council and BRICS Women’s Business Alliance (WBA) with the aim to promote implementation of BRICS Trade in Services Cooperation Roadmap and relevant documents including the BRICS Framework for cooperation in Trade in Professional Services.

34. We reiterate our support to the African Union Agenda 2063 and to Africa's efforts towards integration, including through the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. We underscore that the AfCFTA is poised to create a predictable environment for investments, particularly in infrastructure development, and provides an opportunity to find synergies with partners on cooperation, trade and development on the African continent. We underline the importance of strengthening the partnership between BRICS and Africa to unlock mutually beneficial opportunities for increased trade, investment and infrastructure development. We welcome progress made towards the AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade and recognise its potential to be a catalyst for economic and financial inclusion of women and youth into Africa’s economy. We stress the importance of issues including industrialization, infrastructure development, food security, agriculture modernisation for sustainable growth health-care, and tackling climate change for the sustainable development of Africa.

35. We further note that the African continent remains on the margins of the global trading system and has much to gain through BRICS collaboration. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and BRICS cooperation presents opportunities for the continent to transition away from its historic role as a commodity exporter towards higher productivity value addition. We welcome and support the inclusion of the African Union as a member of the G20 at the New Delhi G20 Summit.

36. We commit to strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation to intensify the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) and create new opportunities for accelerating industrial development. We support intra-BRICS cooperation in human resource development on new technologies through the BRICS Centre for Industrial Competences (BCIC), BRICS PartNIR Innovation Centre, BRICS Startup Forum and collaboration with other relevant BRICS mechanisms, to carry out training programmes to address challenges of NIR for Inclusive and sustainable industrialization. We reiterate our commitment to continue discussion on the establishment of BCIC in cooperation with UNIDO to jointly support the development of Industry 4.0 skills development among the BRICS countries and to promote partnerships and increased productivity in the New Industrial Revolution. We look forward to the cooperation with UNIDO and request the PartNIR Advisory Group to coordinate with UNIDO.

37. We recognize the crucial role that Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) play in unlocking the full potential of BRICS economies and reaffirm the importance of their participation in production networks and value chains. We will continue joint efforts aimed at eliminating constraints such as lack of easily accessible information and financing, skills shortage, network effects, as well as regulation of excessive administrative burden, and procurement related constraints ensuring easily accessible information and financing, skill up gradation and market linkage. We endorse the BRICS MSMEs Cooperation Framework which promotes BRICS cooperation on such issues as exchanging information about fairs and exhibitions, and encouraging participation of MSMEs in the selected events to enhance interactions and cooperation amongst MSMEs which may secure deals. Member states will facilitate exchange of business missions, and promote sector specific Business to Business (B2B) meetings amongst the MSMEs, to enhance enterprise-to-enterprise cooperation and business alliances between the MSMEs of BRICS, with a particular focus on women-owned and youth-owned MSMEs. Member States will provide information relating to MSMEs, business development opportunities and possibilities of partnerships for the development of MSMEs in the BRICS countries. In addition, we will promote sharing of information on trade policies, and market intelligence for MSMEs to increase their participation in international trade. We will facilitate access to resources and capabilities such as skills, knowledge networks, and technology that could help MSMEs improve their participation in the economy and global value chains. We will exchange views on measures and approaches for integrating BRICS MSMEs into global trade and Global Value Chains, including by sharing experience on how regional integration approaches can support the development of MSMEs.

38. We reiterate the commitment to promote employment for sustainable development, including to develop skills to ensure resilient recovery, genderresponsive employment and social protection policies including workers' rights. We reaffirm our commitment to respect, promote, and realise decent work for all and achieve social justice. We will step up efforts to effectively abolish child labour based on the Durban Call to Action and accelerate progress towards universal social protection for all by 2030. We will invest in skills development systems to improve access to relevant and quality skills for workers in the informal economy and workers in new forms of employment as we seek to increase productivity for economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable and inclusive economies. We will explore the development of a BRICS platform to implement the Productivity Ecosystem for Decent Work.

39. We acknowledge the urgent need for tourism industry recovery and the importance of increasing mutual tourist flows and will work towards further strengthening the BRICS Alliance for Green Tourism to promote measures, which can shape a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector.

40. We agree to enhance exchanges and cooperation in the field of standardization and make full use of standards to advance sustainable development.

41. We agree to continue to deepen cooperation on competition amongst BRICS countries and create a fair competition market environment for international economic and trade cooperation.

42. We agree to enhance dialogue and cooperation on intellectual property rights through, the BRICS IPR cooperation mechanism (IPRCM). As we celebrate a decade of cooperation of the Heads of Intellectual Property Offices, we welcome the alignment of their workplan to the Sustainable Development Goals.

43. We support enhancing statistical cooperation within BRICS as data, statistics and information form the basis of informed and effective decision making. On the 10th anniversary of its first issue, we support the continued release of the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication 2023 and the BRICS Joint Statistical Publication Snapshot 2023 for engaging a wider range of users.

44. We recognise the widespread benefits of fast, inexpensive, transparent, safe, and inclusive payment systems. We look forward to the report by the BRICS Payment Task Force (BPTF) on the mapping of the various elements of the G20 Roadmap on Crossborder Payments in BRICS countries. We welcome the sharing of experience by BRICS members on payment infrastructures, including the interlinking of cross-border payment systems. We believe this will further enhance cooperation amongst the BRICS countries and encourage further dialogue on payment instruments to facilitate trade and investment flows between the BRICS members as well as other developing countries. We stress the importance of encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions between BRICS as well as their trading partners. We also encourage strengthening of correspondent banking networks between the BRICS countries and enabling settlements in the local currencies.

45. We task our Finance Ministers and/or Central Bank Governors, as appropriate, to consider the issue of local currencies, payment instruments and platforms and report back to us by the next Summit.

46. We recognise the key role of the NDB in promoting infrastructure and sustainable development of its member countries. We congratulate Ms Dilma Rousseff, former President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, as President of the New Development Bank (NDB) and are confident that she will contribute to strengthening of the NDB in effectively achieving its mandate. We expect the NDB to provide and maintain the most effective financing solutions for sustainable development, a steady process in membership expansion, and improvements in corporate governance and operational effectiveness towards the fulfilment of NDB's General Strategy for 2022-2026. We welcome the three new members of the NDB, namely Bangladesh, Egypt and United Arab Emirates. We encourage the NDB to play an active role in knowledge sharing process and incorporate the member-countries best practices in its operational policies, according to its governance mechanism and taking into account national priorities and development goals. We see the NDB as an important member of global MDB family, given its unique status as an institution created by EMDCs for EMDCs.

47. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Think Tank Network for Finance during 2022 and efforts to operationalise the Network. We will work towards the identification and designation of the lead Think Tanks from member countries. We endorse the Operational Guidelines for the BRICS Think Tank Network for Finance developed under South Africa’s Chairship, which provides guidance on how the Network will operate in terms of governance, delivery of outputs and funding of the BRICS Think Tank Network for Finance.

48. We recognise that infrastructure investments support human, social, environmental, and economic development. We note that the demand for infrastructure is growing, with a greater need for scale, innovation and sustainability. We highlight that BRICS countries continue to offer excellent opportunities for infrastructure investment. In this regard, we further recognise that leveraging governments’ limited resources to catalyse private capital, expertise and efficiency will be paramount in closing the infrastructure investment gap in BRICS countries.

49. We continue to support the work of the Task Force on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Infrastructure in sharing knowledge, good practices and lessons learnt on the effective development and delivery of infrastructure for the benefit of all member countries. In this regard, the Task Force has collated guiding principles that advance the adoption of a programmatic approach in infrastructure delivery and promotes the use of PPPs and other blended finance solutions in infrastructure development and delivery. We look forward to convening the Infrastructure Investment Symposium later this year for a discussion amongst BRICS governments, investors and financiers on ways to work with the private sector to promote the use of green, transition and sustainable finance in infrastructure delivery.

50. The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) continues to be an important mechanism for mitigating the effects of a crisis situation, complementing existing international financial and monetary arrangements, and contributing to the strengthening of the global financial safety net. We reiterate our commitment to the continued strengthening of the CRA and look forward to the successful completion of the sixth Test-Run later in 2023. We also support progress made to amend the outstanding technical issues on the Inter-Central Bank Agreement and endorse the proposed theme of 2023 BRICS Economic Bulletin ‘Challenges in a post-COVID-19 environment.

51. We welcome the continued cooperation on topics of mutual interest on sustainable and transition finance, information security, financial technology, and payments, and look forward to building on work in these areas under the relevant work streams, including the proposed study on leveraging technology to address climate data gaps in the financial sector and support the proposed initiatives aimed at enhancing cyber security and developing financial technology, including the sharing of knowledge and experience in this area.


Partnership for Sustainable Development 

52. We reaffirm the call for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions: economic, social and environmental, in a balanced and integrated manner by mobilising the means required to implement the 2030 Agenda. We urge donor countries to honour their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of technology along with additional development resources to developing countries, in line with the national policy objectives of recipients. We highlight in this regard that the SDGs Summit to be held in New York in September 2023 and the Summit of the Future to be held in September 2024, constitute significant opportunities for renewing international commitment on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

53. We recognise the importance of implementing the SDGs in an integrated and holistic manner, inter alia through poverty eradication as well as combating climate change whilst promoting sustainable land use and water management, conservation of biological diversity, and the sustainable use of its components and the biodiversity and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources, in line with Article 1 of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and in accordance with national circumstances, priorities and capabilities. We also underscore the significance of technology and innovation, international cooperation, public-private partnerships, including South-South cooperation.

54. We underscore the importance of collaborating on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use matters, such as research and development of conservation technologies, development of protected areas, and the combatting of illegal trade in wildlife. Furthermore, we will continue to actively participate in international biodiversity-related conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), its protocols and advancing the implementation of its Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and working towards the Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats.

55. We welcome the historic adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-15) in December 2022. We thus undertake to strive towards the implementation of all the global goals and targets of the KMGBF, in accordance with the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and national circumstances, priorities and capabilities in order to achieve its mission to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and vision of living in harmony with nature. We urge developed countries to provide adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity-building, technical and scientific cooperation, and access to and transfer of technology to fully implement the KMGBF. We also acknowledge the potential for cooperation on the sustainable use of biodiversity in business to support local economic development, industrialisation, job creation, and sustainable business opportunities.

56. We reemphasise the importance of implementing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement and the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) enhancing low-cost climate technology transfer, capacity building as well as mobilizing affordable, adequate and timely delivered new additional financial resources for environmentally sustainable projects. We agree that there is a need to defend, promote and strengthen the multilateral response to Climate Change and to work together for a successful outcome of the 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP28). We recognise that the Means of Implementation should be enhanced by developed countries, including through adequate and timely flow of affordable Climate Finance, Technical Cooperation, Capacity Building and transfer of Technology for climate actions. Furthermore, there is a need for comprehensive financial arrangements to address loss and damage due to climate change, including operationalising Fund on Loss and Damage as agreed at the UNFCCC COP27 to benefit developing countries.

57. We agree to address the challenges posed by climate change while also ensuring a just, affordable and sustainable transition to a low carbon and low-emission economy in line with the principles of CBDR-RC, in light of different national circumstances. We advocate for just equitable and sustainable transitions, based on nationally defined development priorities, and we call on developed countries to lead by example and support developing countries towards such transitions.

58. We stress the need for support of developed countries to developing countries for access to existing and emerging low-emission technologies and solutions that avoid, abate and remove GHG emissions and enhance adaptation action to address climate change. We further emphasize the need for enhancing low-cost technology transfer and for mobilizing affordable, adequate new and timely delivered additional financial resources for environmentally sustainable projects.

59. We express our strong determination to contribute to a successful COP28 in Dubai, later this year, with the focus on implementation and cooperation. As the main mechanism for assessing collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Paris Agreement and its long-term goals and promoting climate action on all aspects of the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC, the Global Stocktake must be effective and identifying implementation gaps on the global response to climate change, whilst prospectively laying the foundations for enhanced ambition by all, in particular by developed countries. We call upon developed countries to fill outstanding gaps in means of implementation for mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries.

60. We welcome Brazil’s candidacy to host COP30 as the year 2025 will be key to the very future of the global response to climate change.

61. We further urge developed countries to honour their commitments, including of mobilizing the USD 100bn per annum by 2020 and through 2025 to support climate action in developing countries. In addition, importance of doubling adaptation finance by 2025 from the base of 2019 is also key in order to implement adaptation actions. Moreover, we look forward to setting up an ambitious New Collective Quantified goal, prior to 2025, as per the needs and priorities of developing countries. This will require enhanced financial support from developed countries that is additional, grant-based and/or concessional, timely delivered, and adequate to take forward adaptation and mitigation action in a balanced manner. This extends to support for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

62. We acknowledge that the financial mechanisms and investments to support the implementation of environment and climate change programmes need to be enhanced, and increased momentum to reform these financial mechanisms, as well as the multilateral development banks and international financial institutions is required. In this regard, we call on the shareholders of these institutions to take decisive action to scale-up climate finance and investments in support towards achieving the SDGs related to climate change and make their institutional arrangements fit for purpose.

63. We oppose trade barriers including those under the pretext of tackling climate change imposed by certain developed countries and reiterate our commitment to enhancing coordination on these issues. We underline that measures taken to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss must be WTO-consistent and must not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade and should not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade. Any such measure must be guided by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC), in the light of different national circumstances. We express our concern at any WTO inconsistent discriminatory measure that will distort international trade, risk new trade barriers and shift burden of addressing climate change and biodiversity loss to BRICS members and developing countries.

64. We commit to intensify our efforts towards improving our collective capacity for global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, and strengthening our ability to fight back any such pandemics in the future collectively. In this regard, we consider it important to continue our support to the BRICS Virtual Vaccine Research and Development Center. We look forward to the holding of the High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response to be to be held on 20th September 2023 at the United Nations General Assembly and we call for an outcome that will mobilise political will and continued leadership on this matter.

65. We recognize the fundamental role of primary health care as a key foundation for Universal Health Care and health system’s resilience, as well as on prevention and response to health emergencies. We believe that the High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to be held at the UN General Assembly in September 2023 would be a critical step for mobilizing the highest political support for UHC as the cornerstone to achieving SDG 3 (good health and well-being). We reiterate our support for the international initiatives, with the leadership of WHO, on addressing tuberculosis (TB) and look forward to actively engaging in the United Nations HighLevel Meeting on TB in New York in September this year and encourage an assertive political declaration.

66. Taking into account national legislation and priorities of BRICS countries, we commit to continue cooperation in traditional medicine in line with previous meetings of the BRICS Health Ministers and their outcomes, as well as the BRICS High-Level Forum on the Traditional Medicine.

67. We note that BRICS countries have significant experience and potential in the field of nuclear medicine and radio pharmaceutics. We welcome the decision to establish a BRICS Working Group on Nuclear Medicine to expand cooperation in this area.

68. We welcome South Africa hosting BRICS Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Steering Committee meetings throughout 2023 as the main coordination mechanism to manage and ensure the successful hosting of BRICS STI activities. We call on the Steering Committee to undertake a strategic review of the thematic focus areas and organisational framework of the BRICS STI Working Group to ensure better alignment as appropriate with current BRICS policy priorities. We commend South Africa for hosting the 8th BRICS Young Scientist Forum and the concurrent organization of the 6th BRICS Young Innovator Prize. We commend the success of the BRICS STI Framework Programme in continuing to connect scientists through the funding of an impressive portfolio of research projects between BRICS countries. We also appreciate the efforts of the BRICS STI Framework Programme Secretariat in facilitating a discussion to launch in 2024 a Call for Proposals for BRICS STI Flagship Projects. We recognize the progress achieved in the implementation of the BRICS Action Plan for Innovation Cooperation (2021-24). In this regard we encourage further actions to be taken on initiatives such as the BRICS Techtransfer (the BRICS Centers for Technology Transfer) and the iBRICS Network (the dedicated BRICS innovation network). We also welcome more actions to be taken, especially by the BRICS STIEP (Science, Technology and Innovation Entrepreneurship Partnership) Working Group, in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, for example, through support for the BRICS Incubation Training and Network, the BRICS Technology Transfer Training Program, and the BRICS Startup Forum.

69. We congratulate our Space agencies for successfully implementing the BRICS RSSC agreement by exchanging of BRICS Satellite Constellation data samples; holding of the 1st BRICS RSSC Application Forum in November 2022; convening of the 2nd meeting of BRICS Space Cooperation Joint Committee in July 2023 and continue to successfully implement the BRICS Constellation Pilot Projects. We encourage the BRICS Space agencies to continue enhancing the level of cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing and applications, so as to provide data support for the economic and social development of the BRICS countries.

70. While emphasising the fundamental role of access to energy in achieving SDGs and noting the outlined risks to energy security we highlight the need for enhanced cooperation among the BRICS countries as major producers and consumers of energy products and services. We believe that energy security, access and energy transitions are important and need to be balanced. We welcome the strengthening of cooperation and increasing investment in the supply chains for energy transitions and note the need to fully participate in the clean energy global value chain. We further commit to increase the resilience of energy systems including critical energy infrastructure, advancing the use of clean energy options, promoting research and innovation in energy science and technology. We intend to address energy security challenges by incentivising energy investment flows. We share a common view, taking into consideration national priorities and circumstances, on the efficient use of all energy sources, namely: renewable energy, including biofuels, hydropower, fossil fuels, nuclear energy and hydrogen produced on the basis of zero and low emission technologies and processes, which are crucial for a just transition towards more flexible, resilient and sustainable energy systems. We recognise the role of fossil fuels in supporting energy security and energy transition. We call for collaboration amongst the BRICS countries on technological neutrality and further urge for the adoption of common, effective, clear, fair and transparent standards and rules for assessment of emissions, elaboration of compatible taxonomies of sustainable projects as well as accounting of carbon units. We welcome joint research and technical cooperation within the BRICS Energy Research Cooperation Platform, and commend the holding of the BRICS Youth Energy Summit and other related activities.

71. We remain committed to strengthening BRICS cooperation on population matters, because the dynamics of population age structure change, and pose challenges as well as opportunities, particularly with regard to women’s rights, youth development, disability rights, employment and the future of work, urbanisation, migration and ageing.

72. We reiterate the importance of BRICS cooperation in the field of disaster management. We stress the importance of disaster risk reduction measures towards building resilient communities and the exchange of information on best practices, adoption of climate change adaptation initiatives, and integration of indigenous knowledge systems and improving investments in early warning systems and disaster resilient infrastructure. We further stress the need for holistic inclusivity in disaster risk reduction by mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in government and communitybased planning. We encourage expanding intra-BRICS cooperation through joint activities for enhancing the capacities of national emergency systems.

73. We agree with the importance placed by South Africa as BRICS Chair on Transforming Education and Skills Development for the Future. We support the principle of facilitating mutual recognition of academic qualifications amongst BRICS countries to ensure mobility of skilled professionals, academics, and students and recognition of qualifications obtained in each other’s countries subject to compliance of applicable domestic laws. We welcome concrete proposals made during the 10th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education focusing on critical areas in education and training such as entrepreneurship development, skills for the changing world, out-ofschool youth, climate change, labour market intelligence, early childhood development and university global ranking. We appreciate the progress on education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) cooperation, in particular, the operationalization of the BRICS TVET Cooperation Alliance which focuses on strengthening communication and dialogue and early finalisation of the Charter of the BRICS TVET Cooperation Alliance thereby promoting substantial cooperation in TVET, integrating TVET with industry.

74. We commit to strengthening skills exchanges and cooperation amongst BRICS countries. We support the digital transformation in education and TVET space, as each BRICS country is domestically committed to ensure education accessibility and equity, and promote the development of quality education. We agree to explore opportunities on BRICS digital education cooperative mechanisms, hold dialogues on digital education policies, share digital educational resources, build smart education systems, and jointly promote digital transformation of education in BRICS countries and to develop a sustainable education by strengthening the cooperation within BRICS Network University and other institution-to-institution initiatives in this area, including the BRICS University League. We welcome the BRICS Network University International Governing Board consideration to expand membership of the BRICS Network University to include more universities from the BRICS countries. We underscore the importance of sharing best practices on expanding access to holistic early childhood care and education to provide a better start in life for children within BRICS countries. We welcome the decision to facilitate exchanges within BRICS countries on equipping learners with skills fit for the future through multiple learning pathways.


Deepening People-to-People Exchanges 

75. We reaffirm the importance of BRICS people-to-people exchanges in enhancing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation. We appreciate the progress made under South Africa's Chairship in 2023, and including in the fields of media, culture, education, sports, arts, youth, civil society and academic exchanges, and acknowledge that people-to-people exchanges play an essential role in enriching our societies and developing our economies.

76. We recognise that youth is a driving force for accelerating the achievement of sustainable development goals. Leadership by young people is fundamental to accelerating a just transition premised on the principles of intergenerational solidarity, international cooperation, friendship, and societal transformation. A culture of entrepreneurship and innovation must be nurtured for the sustainable development of our youth. We reiterate the importance of the BRICS Youth Summit as a forum for meaningful engagement on youth matters and recognise its value as a coordinating structure for youth engagement in BRICS. We welcome the finalisation of the BRICS Youth Council Framework.

77. We commend the successful holding of the BRICS Business Forum. On its 10th anniversary, we welcome the BRICS Business Council's self-reflection with a focus on milestones achieved and areas of improvement. We further welcome the intention of the BRICS Business Council to track intra-BRICS trade flows, identify areas where trade performance has not met expectations and recommend solutions.

78. We acknowledge the critical role of women in economic development and commend the BRICS Women's Business Alliance. We recognise that inclusive entrepreneurship and access to finance for women would facilitate their participation in business ventures, innovation, and the digital economy. We welcome initiatives that will enhance agricultural productivity and access to land, technology, and markets for women farmers.

79. On its 15th anniversary, we recognise the value of BRICS Academic Forum as a platform for deliberations and discussions by leading BRICS academics on the issues confronting us today. The BRICS Think Tanks Council also celebrates 10 years of enhancing cooperation in research and capacity building among the academic communities of BRICS countries.

80. Dialogue among political parties of BRICS countries plays a constructive role in building consensus and enhancing cooperation. We note the successful hosting of BRICS Political Parties Dialogue in July 2023 and welcome other BRICS countries to host similar events in the future.

81. We reaffirm our commitments under all the instruments and Agreements signed and adopted by the Governments of the BRICS States on Cooperation in the Field of Culture and commit to operationalising the Action Plan (2022-2026) as a matter of urgency through the BRICS Working Group on Culture.

82. We commit to ensure the integration of culture into our national development policies, as a driver and an enabler for the achievement of the goals set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We also reaffirm our commitment to promote culture and the creative economy as a global public good as adopted at the World Conference on Culture and Sustainable Development-MONDIACULT22.

83. We agree to support the protection, preservation, restoration and promotion of our cultural heritage, including both tangible and intangible heritage. We commit to take strong action to fight against illicit trafficking of our cultural property and encourage dialogue among culture and heritage stakeholders and commit to promote digitization of the culture and creative sectors by finding technologically innovative solutions and pushing for policies that transform ways in which cultural contents are produced, disseminated, and accessed. We reaffirm our commitment to support participation of cultural enterprises, museums and institutions in international exhibitions and festivals, hosted by BRICS countries and extend mutual assistance in the organisation of such events.

84. We welcome the establishment of a Joint Working Group on Sports to develop a BRICS Sport Cooperation Framework, during South Africa’s Chairship in 2023. We look forward to the successful holding of the BRICS Games in October 2023 in South Africa. We commit to provide the necessary support for BRICS countries to participate in international sport competitions and meetings held in their own country in compliance with relevant rules.

85. We emphasize that all BRICS countries have rich traditional sport culture and agree to support each other in the promotion of traditional and indigenous sports among BRICS countries and around the world. We encourage our sport organizations to carry out various exchange activities both online and offline.

86. We commend the progress made by BRICS countries in promoting urban resilience including through the BRICS Urbanisation forum and appreciate the commitment to further strengthen inclusive collaboration between government and societies at all levels, in all BRICS countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda and promoting the localisation of the SDGs.


Institutional Development 

87. We reiterate the importance of further enhancing BRICS solidarity and cooperation based on our mutual interests and key priorities, to further strengthen our strategic partnership.

88. We note with satisfaction the progress made on BRICS institutional development and stress that BRICS cooperation needs to embrace changes and keep abreast with the times. We shall continue to set clear priorities in our wide-ranging cooperation, on the basis of consensus, and make our strategic partnership more efficient, practical and results oriented. We task our Sherpas to continue discussions on a regular basis on BRICS institutional development, including on consolidation of cooperation.

89. We welcome the participation, at the invitation of South Africa as BRICS Chair, of other EMDCs as "Friends of BRICS” in BRICS meetings below Summit-level and in the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue during the XV BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in 2023.

90. We appreciate the considerable interest shown by countries of the global South in membership of BRICS. True to the BRICS Spirit and commitment to inclusive multilateralism, BRICS countries reached consensus on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process.

91. We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of BRICS from 1 January 2024.

92. We have also tasked our Foreign Ministers to further develop the BRICS partner country model and a list of prospective partner countries and report by the next Summit.

93. Brazil, Russia, India and China commend South Africa's BRICS Chairship in 2023 and express their gratitude to the government and people of South Africa for holding the XV BRICS Summit.

94. Brazil, India, China and South Africa extend their full support to Russia for its BRICS Chairship in 2024 and the holding of the XVI BRICS Summit in the city of Kazan, Russia.




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VLADIVOSTOK – Russian President Vladimir Putin opened and closed his quite detailed address to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok with a resounding message: “The Far East is Russia’s strategic priority for the entire 21st century.”

And that’s exactly the feeling one would have prior to the address, interacting with business executives mingling across the stunning forum grounds at the Far Eastern Federal University (opened only 11 years ago), with the backdrop of the more than four kilometer-long suspension bridge to Russky Island across the Eastern Bosphorus strait.

The development possibilities of what is in effect Russian Asia, and one of the key nodes of Asia-Pacific, are literally mind-boggling. Data from the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic - confirmed by several of the most eye-catching panels during the Forum - list a whopping 2,800 investment projects underway, 646 of which are already up and running, complete with the creation of several international Advanced Special Economic Zones (ASEZ) and the expansion of the Free Port of Vladivostok, home to several hundred small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).  

All that goes way beyond Russia’s “pivot to the East" which was announced by Putin in 2012, two years before the Maidan events in Kiev. For the rest of the planet, not to mention the collective west, it is impossible to understand the Russian Far East magic without being on the spot - starting with Vladivostok, the charming, unofficial capital of the Far East, with its gorgeous hills, striking architecture, verdant islands, sandy bays and of course the terminal of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. 

What Global South visitors did experience – the collective west was virtually absent from the Forum – was a work in progress in sustainable development: a sovereign state setting the tone in terms of integrating large swathes of its territory to the new, emerging, polycentric geoeconomic era. Delegations from ASEAN (Laos, Myanmar, Philippines) and the Arab world, not to mention India and China, totally understood the picture. 


Welcome to the ‘de-westernization movement’

In his speech, Putin stressed how the rate of investment in the Far East is three times the Russian region average; how the Far East is only 35 percent explored, with unlimited potential for natural resource industries; how the Power of Siberia and Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipelines will be connected; and how by 2030, liquified natural gas (LNG) production in the Russian Arctic will triple.

In a broader context, Putin made clear that “the global economy has changed and continues to change; the west, with its own hands, is destroying the system of trade and finance that it itself created.” It is no wonder then that Russia’s trade turnover with Asia-Pacific grew by 13.7 percent in 2022, and by another 18.3 percent in just the first half of 2023. 

Cue to Presidential Business Rights Commissioner Boris Titov showing how this reorientation away from the “static” west is inevitable. Although western economies are well-developed, they are already “too heavily invested and sluggish,” says Titov: 

“In the East, on the other hand, everything is booming, moving forward rapidly, developing rapidly. And this applies not only to China, India, and Indonesia, but also to many other countries. They are the center of development today, not Europe, our main consumers of energy are there, finally.”

It is quite impossible to do justice to the enormous scope and absorbing discussions featured in the major panels in Vladivostok. Here is just a taste of the key themes.              

A Valdai session focused on the accumulated positive effects of Russia's "pivot to the East," with the Far East positioned as the natural hub for swinging the entire Russian economy to Asian geoeconomics.

Yet there are problems, of course, as stressed by Wang Wen from the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University. Vladivostok’s population is only 600,000. the Chinese would say that for such a city, infrastructure is poor, “so it needs more infrastructure as fast as it can. Vladivostok could become the next Hong Kong. The way is to set up SEZs like in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Pudong.” Not hard, as “the non-western world very much welcomes Russia.”

Wang Wen could not but highlight the breakthrough represented by the Huawei Mate 60 Pro: “Sanctions are not such a bad thing. They only strengthen the “de-westernization movement,” as it is informally referred to in China.  

China by mid-2022 slipped into was defined by Wang as “silent mode” in terms of investment for fear of US secondary sanctions. But now that’s changing, and frontier regions once again are regarded as key to trade ties. In the Free Port of Vladivostok, China is the number one investor with its $11 billion commitment.  

Fesco is the largest maritime transportation company in Russia – and reaches China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. They are actively engaged in the connection of Southeast Asia to the Northern Sea Route, in cooperation with Russian Railways. The key is to set up a network of logistic hubs. Fesco executives describe it as “titanic shift in logistics.”

Russian Railways in itself is a fascinating case. It operates, among others, the Trans-Baikal, which happens to be the world’s busiest rail line, connecting Russia from the Urals to the Far East. Chita, smack on the Trans-Siberian - a top manufacturing center 900 km east of Irkutsk - is considered the capital of Russian Railways.  

And then there’s the Arctic. The Arctic is home to 80 percent of Russia’s gas, 20 percent of its oil, 30 percent of its territory, 15 percent of GDP, but consists of only 2.5 million people. The development of the Northern Sea Route requires top-notch high-tech, such as a constantly evolving feet of icebreakers. 


Liquid and stable as vodka 

All that transpired in Vladivostok connects directly to the much-ballyhooed visit by North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The timing was a beauty; after all the Primorsky Krai region in the Far East is an immediate neighbor to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). 

Putin emphasized that Russia and the DPRK are developing several joint projects in transportation, communications, logistics, and naval sectors. So much more than military and space matters amicably discussed by Putin and Kim, the heart of the matter is geoeconomics: a trilateral Russia-China-DPRK cooperation, with the distinct outcome of increased container traffic transiting through the DPRK and the tantalizing possibility of DPRK rail reaching Vladivostok and then connecting deeper into Eurasia via the Trans-Siberian line. 

And if that was not ground-breaking enough, much was discussed in several round tables about the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC). The Russia-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran corridor will be finalized in 2027 – and that will be a key branch of the INTSC.   

In parallel, New Delhi and Moscow are itching to start the Eastern Maritime Corridor (EMC) as soon as possible - that’s the official denomination of the Vladivostok-Chennai route. Sarbananda Sonowal, the Indian minister of ports, shipping and waterways, promoted an Indo-Russian workshop on the EMC in Chennai from October 30 to discuss “the smooth and swift operationalization” of the corridor.

I had the honor of being part of one of the crucial panels, Greater Eurasia: Drivers for the Formation of an Alternative International Monetary and Financial System.

A key conclusion is that the stage is set for a common Eurasia payment system - part of the Eurasian Economic Union's (EAEU) draft declaration for 2030-2045 – against the backdrop of Hybrid War and “toxic currencies” (83 per cent of EAEU transactions already bypass them). 

Yet the debate remains fierce when it comes to a basket of national currencies, a basket of goods, payment and settlement structures, the use of blockchain, a new pricing system, or setting up a single stock exchange. Is it all possible, technically? Yes, but that would take 30 or 40 years to take shape, as the panel stressed.  

As it stands, a single example of challenges ahead is enough. The idea of coming up with a basket of currencies for an alternative payment system did not gather steam at the BRICS summit because of India’s position. 

Aleksandr Babakov, deputy chairman of the Duma, evoked the discussions between the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Iran on trade financing in national currencies, including a road map to look for best ways in legislation to help attract investment. That’s also being discussed with private companies. The model is the success of the China-Russia trade turnover.  

Andrey Klepach, chief economist at VEB, quipped that the best currency is “liquid and stable. Like vodka.” So we’re not there yet. Two-thirds of trade are still carried in dollars and euros; the Chinese yuan accounts for only three percent. India refuses to use the yuan. And there’s a huge Russia-India imbalance: as much as 40 billion rupees are sitting in Russian exporters accounts with nowhere to go. A priority is to improve trust in the ruble: it should be accepted by both India and China. And a digital ruble is becoming a necessity.  

Wang Wen concurred, saying there’s not enough ambition. India should export more to Russia and Russia should invest more in India. 

In parallel, as pointed out by Sohail Khan, the deputy secretary-general of the SCO, India now controls no less than 40 percent of the global digital payment market. It had a share of zero only seven years ago. That accounts for the success of its unified payment system (UPI).

A BRICS-EAEU panel expressed the hope that a joint summit of these two key multilateral organizations will happen next year. Once again, it’s all about trans-Eurasian transportation corridors – as two-thirds of world turnover will soon follow the eastern track connecting Russia to Asia. 

On BRICS-EAEU-SCO, top Russian companies are already integrated into BRICS business, from Russian Railways and Rostec to big banks. A big problem remains how to explain the EAEU to India – even as the EAEU structure is deemed to be a success. And watch this space: a free trade agreement with Iran will be clinched soon. 

At the last panel in Vladivostok, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova – the contemporary counterpart of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods – pointed out how the G20 and BRICS summits set the stage for Putin’s speech at the Eastern Economic Forum. 

That required “fantastic strategic patience.” Russia, after all, “never supported isolation” and “always advocated partnership.” The frantic activity in Vladivostok has just demonstrated how the “pivot to Asia” is all about enhanced connectivity and partnership in a new polycentric era.











Zelensky: TIME may be on his side, but real time, isn't
Official Ukraine narrative collapses as Zelensky’s inner circle admits to magazine that the war cannot be won militarily.




Since the Russia-Ukraine war began over 20 months ago, Western media has constructed and dutifully hewn to a series of narratives: Volodymyr Zelensky is a war hero and resistance leader akin to Winston Churchill. Ukrainians are eager to volunteer for the war effort while Russians flee conscription. More money and weapons are all the Ukrainians need to retake the territory Russia has annexed. The West’s interests lie in helping them achieve that grand victory rather than in pushing for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement. 

Facts at odds with these narratives — such as that Ukraine has been taking unsustainable losses in combat, that we don’t have enough artillery shells to adequately supply them, that the billions we’ve been sending to Ukraine are falling prey to corruption — have been dismissed as “Putin talking points.” The critics who point them out are attacked as Kremlin apologists.

All of which is why it was so extraordinary to read this week’s cover story in TIME magazine. 

Written by Simon Shuster, who previously wrote the article naming Zelensky TIME's“Person of the Year” at the end of 2022, the piece is ostensibly another hagiography of Zelensky as the heroic figure forced to go it alone as times get tough and Western allies start to “abandon” him. But rather than shoring up Zelensky’s standing in the West, it validates many of the criticisms made by those supposed Putin apologists. Only now those criticisms are being voiced by Zelensky’s own aides and advisers inside the presidential palace.

The narrative dam our media has built around the reality in Ukraine is apparently breaking wide open, and the truth is finally spilling out: 

  • Ukraine’s war aims are unrealistic. Kyiv has long maintained that its definition of victory, namely the retaking of all Ukrainian territory including Crimea, is achievable with Western arms and money. Now a disastrous summer counteroffensive, which has resulted in horrific Ukrainian casualties while reclaiming negligible amounts of territory, has Zelensky’s advisers reconsidering whether those aims are realistic. Yet Zelensky’s belief in ultimate victory over Russia has only “hardened into a form that worries some of his advisors,” according to Shuster, who describes Zelensky’s faith as “immovable, verging on the messianic.” One of Zelensky’s closest aides tells Shuster that, “He is delusional. We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.” This of course runs counter to all the propaganda pumped out by Ukraine and repeated by Western media sources. But increasingly it’s only Zelensky who still believes his own press clippings. 
  • Staggering casualties have decimated the Ukrainian army. Ukraine has refused to disclose casualty counts throughout the war, dismissing the increasingly-credible reports of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian casualties as Russian propaganda. But another close aide to Zelensky tells Shuster that casualties are so horrific that “even if the U.S. and its allies come through with all the weapons they have pledged, ‘we don’t have the men to use them.’” Shuster reports that, “In some branches of the military, the shortage of personnel has become even more dire than the deficit in arms and ammunition.” According to the article, the average age of a currently-serving Ukrainian soldier is 43 and getting older all the time. It appears the youth have already been sacrificed.
  • Conscription policies are draconian. Another fact dismissed as a “Putin talking point” is that Ukrainians have had to resort to ever-more draconian conscription policies to replenish their military’s ranks. Shuster lays out the unpleasant reality: “New recruitment is way down. As conscription efforts have intensified across the country, stories are spreading on social media of draft officers pulling men off trains and buses and sending them to the front. Those with means sometimes bribe their way out of service, often by paying for a medical exemption.” The corruption became so widespread that Zelensky fired the heads of all the regional draft offices in August, but the move backfired as lack of leadership brought new recruitment nearly to a halt. 
  • Morale is collapsing. Even patriots don’t want to die serving as canon fodder for a doomed military strategy. Within the officer ranks, there is growing dissension bordering on mutiny. One close Zelensky aide complained to Shuster that some front-line commanders have begun refusing orders to advance even when they come directly from the office of the president. When Shuster asked a senior military officer about those complaints, the officer said that some officers have no choice but to refuse orders that are simply impossible. He told a story about an order in early October to “retake” the city of Horlivka, a “strategic outpost” in Eastern Ukraine that’s been under Russian control for almost a decade. “The answer came in the form of a question,” writes Shuster. “With what?” With no recruits and no artillery, Zelensky’s dreams of driving the Russians from every inch of Ukrainian territory cannot be achieved. He can only fight futilely to the last Ukrainian, and there is a diminishing number of Ukrainians willing to die in service of that strategy. 
  • Corruption is uncontrollable. It has long been a “Putin talking point” that Ukraine’s government was shot through with corruption. And yet Zelensky has been getting an earful about exactly that from its U.S. and NATO allies, who don’t want to see their billions of dollars in aid disappear into the pockets of corrupt officials. Zelensky has taken some actions, like the sacking of his Minister of Defense Oleksiy Reznikov for corrupt procurement practices. But to really root out corruption, Zelensky will have to fire most of his government. A top presidential adviser admitted as much to Shuster once his audio recorder had been shut off: “People are stealing like there is no tomorrow.” 

“Nobody believes in our victory like I do,” Zelensky told TIMEin what became the pull quote for this cover story. He may have to read Shuster’s piece to see just how right he is, as he seems surrounded by aides who no longer believe in Ukraine’s war strategy or Zelensky’s leadership of it. 

Zelensky no doubt intended the quote as a Churchillian “never surrender” exhortation to courage and resolve in the face of Ukraine’s “darkest hour” rather than as an admission of delusional optimism. Yet his dogmatic insistence on total victory and refusal to consider peace negotiations belie a loss of touch with reality that ought to worry both his countrymen and allies. 

To be sure, Zelensky is not alone in his refusal to face reality. The Biden administration has proposed another $61 billion for Ukraine’s war effort without explaining how this will produce a different result than the $100+ billion already appropriated. Undoubtedly Zelensky’s optimism was fueled by Biden’s repeated promises of total support for "as long as it takes." But it’s becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. is in no position to deliver on that promise indefinitely. It has too many other global commitments, including to Israel, which compete for limited resources. 

Alone among his team, Zelensky seems not to understand how circumstances have changed. Shuster and TIME try their best to portray him as the last stalwart of the Ukrainian cause, but the fact that his own inner circle is the source of the torrent of revelations and complaints suggests that his immovability owes not to Churchillian resolve but rather to an impervious bunker mentality.