Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to join the BRICS Economic Summit on Thursday to meet with allies in the economic bloc who have largely refrained from joining the West in condemning Russia for its current invasion of Ukraine.

BRICS is an economic bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa that has positioned itself as “[serving] common interests of emerging market economies and developing countries,” in contrast to the West’s “club of wealthy capitalist democracies,” according to CNN.

Allowing Putin to join in the virtual proceedings of the summit is seen as a complicated endeavor by experts and analysts around the world, especially as the other countries will likely attempt to avoid any implication of endorsing Russia’s war in Ukraine, CNBC reported.

“We're talking about some very major economies whose leadership is willing to be seen with Putin, even if it is only on a virtual platform,” New Delhi’s Center for Policy Research fellow Sushant Singh said. “The fact that Putin is welcome, he's not a pariah, he's not being pushed out -- and this is a normal engagement, which has taken place every year and it's still taking place -- that is a big plus for Putin.”

While the discussion may drift away from the Ukraine situation, experts believe that Beijing will use the summit as a way of discussing the possibility of trading alternative that avoids using the U.S. dollar, especially as Russia has been locked out of SWIFT due to sanctions regarding the Russia-Ukraine war.

“There's not going to be any full-throated embrace of Russia (at this summit), there's no doubt about it, and I'm sure there's gonna be plenty of awkwardness there ... but behind the awkwardness (de-dollarization) is one area where these governments do have a shared interest,” political economist Shahar Hameiri said.

“Any kind of meaningful steps away from (a US dollar-denominated system) are potentially significant.”

Another potentially thorny situation is centered around India, which has a border dispute with China in the Himalayas and is building a strategic security alliance with the United States in spite of the country’s reliance on Russian weapons.

“As the China-Russia relationship is garnering momentum, India’s relationship with Russia is getting affected. Russia has openly expressed its displeasure about the concept of the Indo-Pacific and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, of which India is an important member,” analyst Harsh V. Pant said.

“I would be surprised if any substantive initiative is announced, because India would then be sending a message to the Quad and to its Western partners that it is willing to work very closely with China and Russia,” Singh said.

Vladimir Putin is set to meet with other world leads in the virtual BRICS Economic Summit, in what is shaping up to be a summit filled with tension from the complicated involvement of the countries to each other. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images.

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