Global Governance
Valdai Club to Discuss Russia's BRICS Chairmanship
List of speakers

On November 11, at 11:00 a.m. Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club will host an online discussion, titled “Russia's BRICS Chairmanship in the Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic”, featuring Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

On November 17, Russia will chair the 12th BRICS Summit, which will be held via videoconference. The event was originally slated to take place in July in St. Petersburg. However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced people and nations alike, throughout the world, to adjust to unfortunate new circumstances.

During the pandemic, the vast majority of countries have faced the need to take urgent measures to protect the health of their citizens and the normal functioning of national economies. Amid these conditions, international cooperation and the development of a common response were needed  to meet the most important global challenges.

BRICS was created and works precisely as a response of its participants to such challenges as the redistribution of power in the world and the erosion of traditional international institutions. A great advantage of the BRICS is the absence of a leading state that would or could subordinate the rest in defining a common agenda. During the pandemic, the BRICS group performed better than most of the older, more hierarchically organised institutions, primarily those found in the West. At the same time, there are certain problems within the group, for example, the border conflict between India and China.

What are the challenges faced by BRICS in the year of the pandemic? How successful is cooperation within the BRICS? What have been Russia’s main achievements as president of the group? How does BRICS solve its internal problems? The guests of the Valdai Club will answer these and other questions.

  • Akshay Mathur, Director, Observer Research Foundation Mumbai, Head of ORF Geoeconomics Studies Programme
  • Philani Mthembu, Executive Director at the Institute for Global Dialogue, South Africa 
  • Victoria Panova, Managing Director of the National Committee for BRICS Research, Academic Supervisor of the BRICS Russia Organizing Committee Expert Council, Vice-President for International Relations at the Far Eastern Federal University, Russia’s Sherpa in W20
  • Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Xu Sitao, Chief Economist, Partner at Deloitte (China)

Working languages: Russian, English.

For accreditation, you must fill out the form on our website, indicate your personal mobile number and have the WhatsApp application installed.

Please send questions for speakers to or via WhatsApp to the number: +79269307763. Be sure to include your name and title, as well as the name of the speaker to whom the question is being addressed. Questions will be asked during the Q&A session.

A link to the live broadcast of the discussion will be posted on all online platforms used by the Valdai Club: on the website, on FacebookVkontakteInstagram, and Telegram.