The BRICS and the West have neither a rival nor partner relationship. There is no basis for such perceptions between the BRICS and the West. The BRICS is not an alliance. It's not a military bloc. The members of this group don't have any intention to transform it into something formalized.

Petr Topychkanov
Topychkanov was a fellow in the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Nonproliferation Program.
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They are not interested in any confrontation with the West, because all of them except Russia have close ties with Western countries. Even Russia, which has problematic relations with many Western countries because of Crimea, is still connected to them via economic, political and cultural links.

The West doesn’t have any reason to see the BRICS as something challenging it. There is only one reason to worry [for the West] – its own growing weaknesses. BRICS was created in response to changes in the world order and global economy.

The space for such an initiative was cleared by Western institutions, which turned out to be unable to play the role that they used to play after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The need for the growth and development of Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa can’t be satisfied with the sole help of the West. These countries’ growth demands injections from many sources.

The BRICS’ economic demands dictate the political agenda for its member states. The group’s creation reflected their understanding the world as polycentric and free of dominance of one center over others.

This understanding is basic for the BRICS. From this point of view, the West is accepted by the BRICS as one of the other centers in international affairs. Those politicians in Western countries who want to secure the West’s superiority over other centers of the world may oppose the BRICS as a manifestation of the world order change.

In short, the more active role of the BRICS is becoming possible because of the growing demands of its member-states and inability of Western institutions to satisfy them.

This article originally appeared in Russia Direct.