Argentina considers refusing to join BRICS


Advisor to the president-elect of Argentina said the country will reconsider joining BRICS, when it is unclear how Buenos Aires will benefit from the bloc.

“I don’t understand why there is so much interest in BRICS,” replied Diana Mondino, senior economic advisor to Argentine President-elect Javier Milei. Sputnik Brazil on November 20, adding that she was not sure what benefits joining the bloc would bring to Buenos Aires at this time.

BRICS is a group of emerging economies with 5 members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, accounting for more than 40% of the global population and about 1/4 of world GDP. South Africa is the chairing country.

At the August summit, BRICS passed a joint statement, which admitted 6 new members including Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 2015. 2024. Outgoing Argentine President Alberto Fernandez then said joining BRICS would open a “new context” for the country. Mr. Milei and Ms. Mondino both oppose the plan.

“If joining BRICS brings benefits later, we will analyze this,” said Ms. Mondino, a candidate for foreign minister in Mr. Milei’s administration.

Diana Mondino, senior economic advisor to Argentine President-elect Javier Milei. Image: La Nacion

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ninh said on November 20 that she did not know about advisor Mondino’s comments.

“I want to say that the BRICS cooperation mechanism is an important foundation for emerging markets and developing countries to increase solidarity, cooperation and maintain common interests,” according to Ms. Mao. “BRICS is also an open platform and we welcome all interested countries to become members of the BRICS family.”

Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa have not commented on Argentina’s intentions.

Dmitry Rosenthal, head of the Latin American Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and expert at the Council of International Affairs, said that Mr. Milei may change his opinion. “We should wait and see. We need to understand that joining BRICS is beneficial, and can be useful for Argentina in the future,” he told TASS.

Mr. Javier Milei spoke to his supporters after being elected president on November 19 in Buenos Aires. Image: AFP

Mr. Milei, a right-wing politician, was elected president of Argentina on November 19 with nearly 56% of the votes in favor. He opposes Argentina joining BRICS and does not support economic relations with China and Brazil. Instead, he plans to strengthen economic ties with the United States and Israel, the two countries Mr. Milei plans to visit first after taking office.

Argentina’s president-elect pledged to implement “economic shock therapy”, such as closing the central bank, dollarizing the economy, cutting spending, and strong economic reforms. He will face many big challenges, in the context of empty government and central bank budgets and inflation of nearly 150%.

“Mr. Milei is something new. He’s a bit mysterious and scary, but it’s time to turn a new page,” restaurant worker Cristian, 31, said as he voted.

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