BRICS neutrality on Ukraine a diplomatic win for Putin

By Anthony Boadle FORTALEZA Brazil (Reuters) – A summit of the BRICS group of emerging market countries will abstain from criticizing Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine, Brazilian officials said, a diplomatic victory for President Vladimir Putin. The summit statement will make only a passing reference to Ukraine and will echo the neutral stance adopted by Russia’s fellow BRICS countries – China, India, Brazil and South Africa – at the United Nations, according to Brazilian diplomats organizing Tuesday’s meeting in Fortaleza. Facing efforts to isolate Russia by leading Western nations, the BRICS summit provides Putin with a welcome geopolitical platform to show he has friends elsewhere, economic powers seen as shaping the future of the world.