Latin America

Argentina’s Choice Not to Join BRICS ‘Ideological’, Admits Minister

Argentina’s president Javier Milei waves at the crowd from a balcony of the Casa Rosada government palace.

At the 15th BRICS summit in South Africa in August 2023, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia were invited to join the bloc, with their full membership scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2024. However, Argentina’s President Javier Milei has officially rejected the invitation to become a member of BRICS.Argentina’s decision not to enter the BRICS bloc is an “ideological” one, the Foreign Minister Diana Mondino has acknowledged.

“It is an ideological and practical decision, but more practical,” Mondino argued in an interview on LN+.

According to the official, Buenos Aires already has trade agreements with all members of the bloc. “Argentina has very big economic problems and the BRICS states have one goal: trade,” she stated, adding that it was a “matter of simplification,” and optimization of the use of time.“If you participate in all organizations, then when do you find time to work?” she queried.Weighing in on the move by President Javier Milei to reverse the country’s entry into BRICS, which was previously announced by former President Alberto Fernandez before concluding his term, Mondino noted that international blocs will be mainly with “Western democracies,” such as the United States, Canada, European countries, and Israel.“We will trade with those who pay more. This decision will not be made by the state. Our task is to create conditions for trade,” the minister said.Mondino also said that the government was working to promote the MERCOSUR agreement with Singapore, and another with the European Union, which is currently stalled.Earlier in December, ministers from the four MERCOSUR member states – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay – and Foreign Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan signed the MERCOSUR-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (MCSFTA).WorldArgentine President Milei Rejects Invitation to Join BRICS in Letters to Putin, Xi – Reports29 December 2023, 12:42 GMTArgentine President Javier Milei officially rejected the invitation to become a member of the BRICS in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Infobae news portal reported on Friday. Milei sent his letter to the Russian and Chinese leaders several days ago and also informed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his decision, according to the news portal.

Founded in 2009, the BRICS is a grouping of the world's largest developing economies. The founding members of the bloc are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. In August 2023, during the 15th BRICS summit in South Africa, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were invited to join the bloc, with membership set to take effect on January 1, 2024.

EconomyDollar Dependence Would Force Argentina to Tango to Washington’s Tune14 December 2023, 14:28 GMT

‘Huge Loss of Sovereignty’

Javier Milei was inaugurated as president of Argentina, a country in the grips of a major economic and fiscal crisis for more than half a decade, following victory in the November 19 runoff election against former Economy Minister Sergio Massa. Milei vowed to slash spending, and carry out a series of fiscal measures to try to stabilize the inflation situation, including devaluing the peso against the dollar. The self-described “anarcho-capitalist” also announced on November 30 that his government would not be moving forward with his predecessors’ plans to integrate Argentina into the BRICS bloc.Weighing in on that decision, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned his Argentinian counterpart of the potential risks associated with linking the Latin American nation’s currency to the US dollar.”Ultimately, if Argentina’s current leadership deems this to be the sole viable solution to address these financial and economic challenges, it remains their prerogative. But is nevertheless a huge loss of sovereignty,” Putin emphasized at his year-end press conference.WorldBRICS Momentum: Is EU Pivoting Towards a Multipolar Horizon?8 December 2023, 19:07 GMTEarlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the leaders of the five BRICS nations approved the group’s expansion at the summit in Johannesburg in August that some 30 countries had expressed a desire to partner up with the club of five emerging economies.”It is logical that, since the BRICS operates on the principles of a genuine democracy and mutual respect, many countries are eager to get closer to BRICS. In addition to the countries that have already joined our ranks, about three dozen countries now want to become BRICS’ partners,” he said. Lavrov said that Russia would continue strengthening BRICS’ position as a pillar of a nascent multipolar world. Russia is set to hold the group’s rotating presidency in 2024 and host a leaders’ summit in Kazan in October, where it plans to adopt a “substantial package of decisions.”Amid global shifts away from American hegemony toward a multipolar world, the non-Western countries-members of BRICS hold increasingly more significant economic and political sway. Thanks to its sustainable growth, as well as diversity and ambitions, the BRICS may successfully challenge the US’ global dominance and scrap the dollar as the world’s main currency, a growing number of pundits have told Sputnik.WorldAround 30 Counties Interested in Partnership With BRICS – Lavrov26 December 2023, 11:34 GMT

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