Milei administration reneges on Argentina’s BRICS commitment

Foreign Minister Diana Mondino had previously signaled that the government would not be honoring its predecessor's agreement to join the bloc

The Javier Milei administration revealed on Friday that it has sent letters to the presidents of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa informing them that Argentina will not be joining the BRICS economic bloc of developing countries. In the letter, Milei indicated that his government does not consider incorporation into the bloc “appropriate” at this time.

Milei’s predecessor, Alberto Fernández, had previously announced that Argentina would be joining BRICS in August, arguing that it would allow the country to develop its trade partnerships around the world. “We want to be a part of the BRICS because the difficult world context makes the bloc singularly relevant and an important geopolitical and financial point of reference,” he said at the time.

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The new government’s announcement should come as no surprise. On the campaign trail, Milei indicated that his government would pursue closer relations with the United States, Israel, and the “free world.” Then, in November, after Milei won the presidential run-off against Union por la Patria’s Sergio Massa, Foreign Secretary Diana Mondino announced on X (formerly Twitter) that Argentina would not be joining BRICS, claiming that the country’s membership in the bloc was “never approved.”

Argentina had been scheduled to officially join BRICS on January 1, 2024, after Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva campaigned vigorously for its admission. Milei has accused Brazil of being a “communist” country, although he has softened his stance since being elected, even going so far as to formally invite his Brazilian counterpart to his inauguration. However, Lula did not attend because former President Jair Bolsonaro was invited too.

“Without prejudice to [the bloc], I wish to highlight the commitment of my government to the intensification of bilateral ties with your country, in particular the increase in trade and investment flows,” he wrote in his letter to Lula.

In August, BRICS granted entry to Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, along with Argentina. The bloc’s nations are responsible for 36% of the world’s gross domestic product, and their populations constitute more than 40% of its total population.

With information from Télam


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