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Paris to clarify motives behind Macron’s plan to attend BRICS summit

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Paris: Paris should explain why French President Emmanuel Macron wants to attend the South African-hosted top-level summit of BRICS, to which France is not a member state, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, French newspaper L’Opinion reported, citing sources in the Elysee Palace, that Macron had asked South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for an invitation to the upcoming BRICS summit. A source was cited as saying that South Africa did not say whether it was prepared to allow other international leaders beyond member states to attend the event.

“It would be nice if they [Macron’s office] told why they want [to attend the summit]. Do they want to once again make some contact to show Paris’ activity or is it a ‘Trojan horse’ of some sort — so let them explain,” Zakharova told Radio Sputnik.

A comment should follow in particular from the French Presidency or whoever is delegated to represent France at the summit of the key emerging economies, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman said.

“After all, we are talking about the organization to which they are in no way a member and toward which they have never even shown any politeness, let alone showing any good intentions or feelings,” Zakharova added.

BRICS unites the world’s largest developing economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. A number of other countries have expressed intention to join the bloc, including Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

South Africa, which assumed the rotating BRICS presidency in January, will host the 15th summit of leaders in August. A controversy arose around the event in March after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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