“The expansion of BRICS is extremely important, particularly in the energy sector, since we are talking about the fact that with the accession of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and countries such as Venezuela in the future, more than 80% of the world’s oil reserves and its production will fall within the scope of BRICS,” Gil said.
Moreover, BRICS’s member states will collectively be the world’s key energy consumer, he added.
All in all, Venezuela’s foreign minister sees BRICS’s expansion as an “ideal alliance of perfect complementarity.”
“This is a new order, not only political but also economic, and, of course, if we manage over time to consolidate the de-dollarization of trade in energy and industrial goods, for example, technologies that are produced in China and India, we will really contribute to the creation of a more balanced world,” he continued.
Venezuela hopes to become a member of the BRICS bloc soon, as it sees support for its application from all member states, including Russia, Gil said.
“We took part in the BRICS summit in Johannesburg and we are very happy to be [the bloc’s] partner. We, along with 22 other countries, have applied for membership. We welcome BRICS’s expansion, which it has or will have starting in January, when the presidency will be transferred to Russia. Venezuela is determined to become an official member of the bloc soon. Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa support us decisively, all countries support our candidacy. We have no problems with that and are working on it,” the minister added.
He stated Venezuela was already working in all BRICS commissions and exchanging information with the members.
Venezuela and Russia will soon hold a meeting of the high-level intergovernmental commission and discuss military-technical cooperation, Venezuelan Foreign Minister said.
“All plans with Russia are discussed within the framework of a high-level intergovernmental commission, which will soon hold its meeting, including the issue of military-technical cooperation is also on the agenda,” Gil added.
He also said that the commission has a dedicated sub-commission discussing specifically the possibility of opening a Kalashnikov plant in Venezuela.
Many European, Asian and American companies have shown interest in cooperation with Venezuela in different sectors, including energy, Gil stated, adding that the Latin American country is on its way to becoming the fourth-largest gas reserve soon.
“We have discovered the interest of many companies – European, Asian and American – in participation in different Venezuelan sectors, including energy.”
The foreign minister pointed to a recent gas investments initiative called Global Gateway Investment Agenda, which was agreed by the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States at their summit in July.
“We should recall that Venezuela is the world’s largest oil reserve, and very soon we will become the fourth-biggest gas reserve globally. In other words, there are many opportunities, our oil industry is steadily growing. And we really have a lot of interest from different companies,” Gil said.
Venezuela has discussed unconditional lifting of unilateral sanctions against the country with “all members of the international system,” including the United States, he added.
“Sanctions are pointless and must be lifted. Venezuela is prepared to hold and hold negotiations with all members of the international system, including the US, demanding full and unconditional lifting of sanctions,” Gil said.
He stated Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tasked a team, led by parliament speaker Jorge Rodriguez, with negotiating specifically with the US and US-supported opposition.
“While the negotiations run their natural course, Venezuela keeps faith that Washington will return to reason and will lift sanctions immediately,” Gil added.
He also said that Venezuela has held a range of “positive” bilateral and multilateral meetings at the UN General Assembly High-Level Week, taking place in New York from September 18-26.
“We have deployed our Bolivarian peace diplomacy. The meetings were very positive and we have found an atmosphere of support for the [Venezuelan] government, primarily with regard to the issue of lifting unilateral coercive measures and sanctions against our country,” the top Venezuelan diplomat added.
Venezuela supports the scenario of a negotiated solution to the crisis in Ukraine, as it believes that weapon supplies and other tools of conflict protraction cannot bring about positive outcomes, Gil stressed.
“Venezuela, as President Nicolas Maduro said, is committed to peace, a genuine peace. We want diplomacy to prevail over weapon supplies.”
“Venezuela joins the call that diplomacy must prevail over weapon supplies and the artificial protraction of the conflict, which does not lead to any positive results,” he said.
The top Venezuelan diplomat added that the security of the Eastern European region should be achieved via diplomatic agreements and expressed support for the initiatives that can produce peace, including those suggested by China, Belarus, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.