Putin urges BRICS countries to cooperate with Russia | News | DW

The Russian leader on Thursday called on the leaders of the BRICS countries – Brazil, India, China and South Africa – to cooperate in the face of “selfish actions” by the West.

President Vladimir Putin’s call for the China-hosted virtual BRICS summit comes as a wide-ranging sanctions barrage is pushing Moscow to seek new markets among emerging nations.

The meeting comes as Russia continues its war in eastern Ukraine. China, India, South Africa and Brazil have all avoided openly criticizing Russia for its February 24 invasion.

What Putin Told the BRICS Leaders

The Russian president hit out at the West, accusing it of causing a global crisis.

“Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation can we find ways out of the crisis situation that has developed in the world economy due to the reckless and selfish actions of States individuals,” Putin said.

In light of the sanctions, Putin said Western states were “using financial mechanisms” to “transmit their own macroeconomic policy mistakes to the world.”

“We are convinced that now, more than ever, the leadership of the BRICS countries is needed to develop a unifying and positive path towards the formation of a truly multipolar system of intergovernmental relations,” Putin said.

Putin had said on Wednesday that Russia was redirecting its oil trade and exports to BRICS countries in the wake of the sanctions.

Chinese President Xi condemns use of sanctions

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that China, which chairs this year’s summit, opposes any abuse of international sanctions. He called on other BRICS members to shoulder their responsibilities in the world.

“We must abandon the Cold War mentality and block confrontation and oppose unilateral sanctions – and the abuse of sanctions,” Xi said. “Global economic recovery remains a tortuous process as peace and security become more salient issues.”

China has by far the largest economy in the BRICS group. It accounts for more than 70% of the group’s $27.5 trillion overall economic powerhouse.

What is the BRICS group?

BRICS is the acronym used for five of the world’s major emerging economies that also wield significant power in regional affairs.

The terminology was BRIC (or the BRICs) before South Africa, which was not an original member, joined in 2010. The name is said to come from a 2001 report on asset management by Goldmann Sachs .

BRICS state governments have met every year in formal summits since 2009, the last year chaired virtually by India.

Three members – China, India and South Africa – abstained from voting on a UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Brazil voted in favor of the motion, but Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro refused to condemn the invasion. He said Brazil would not take sides.

China and India have also dramatically increased the amount of Russian oil they buy.

The BRICS together represent some 42% of the world’s population, 23% of GDP, 27% of territory and 18% of trade. Together they are bigger than the Eurozone and, unless China slows significantlythe collective size of the BRICS countries will soon be as large as that of the United States.

rc/rt (AFP, Reuters)

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