Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has suggested that his country, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, could join the BRICS economic group, which includes Russia and China.
Tebboune’s comment comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin – whose country has been hit by Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine – called on BRICS leaders in June to move towards “the formation of a truly multipolar system of intergovernmental relations”.
The BRICS group also includes the major emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Africa.
“The BRICS interest us” as an alternative to traditional centers of power, Tebboune said in a televised interview late Sunday. “They are an economic and political force.”
He underlined that there was no need to “get ahead of things”, but promised “good news”.
The president added that his North African country “to a large extent” meets the economic criteria to join the bloc.
BRICS members currently account for nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.
Tebboune attended a virtual BRICS summit in late June, when Putin called on the group’s leaders to work together against “selfish actions” by the West.
Sanctions against Ukraine have prompted Putin to seek new markets and strengthen ties with countries in Africa and Asia.
Algiers abstained when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution in March demanding that Russia withdraw from Ukraine immediately.
China, India and South Africa also abstained.
During a visit to Algeria in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said trade between his country and Algeria had reached $3 billion last year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)