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BRICS leaders weigh expanding membership at summit

Calls to enlarge the BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- has dominated the agenda at its three-day summit in Johannesburg and exposed rifts between its m   -  
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South Africa

Leaders from the BRICS economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India and China arrived for the main day of the summit on Wednesday hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in South Africa.

The BRICS group are debating whether to expand their bloc and allow in new members a decade-and-a-bit after it came into existence.

More than 20 countries have formally applied to join the group, officials say, with Saudi Arabia one of the most significant.

Four of the bloc's leaders are in Johannesburg for the group's first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Putin is not attending after an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for him over the war in Ukraine complicated his travel to South Africa, but he will participate virtually.

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