The Argentina of ultraliberal President Javier Milei will not join the bloc of emerging countries, BRICS, in accordance with what he had announced, reversing the approach of the previous center-left government, the presidency confirmed on Friday.
In a letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva — as well as other members of the bloc (Russia, India, China, South Africa) — Javier Milei “informs him that the incorporation of the Argentine Republic into BRICS as a full member from 1er January 2024 is not considered appropriate” by his government.
“As you know, the brand of foreign policy of the government that I have been presiding over the past few days differs in many respects from that of the previous government,” explains Mr. Milei, who took office on December 10.
“In this sense, some decisions taken by the previous administration will be revised. Among them, the creation of a unit […] for the country’s active participation in BRICS,” he adds in the missive published by several media.
At the end of the last BRICS summit in August in Johannesburg, the bloc announced an expansion, with the invitation to six new member countries to join them from 1er January: in addition to Argentina, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
But during the electoral campaign, candidate Milei assured that he would not join the BRICS if he was elected, saying he refused “to encourage contracts with the communists because they do not respect the basics of free trade, freedom and democracy; It’s geopolitics.”
Its head of diplomacy, Diana Mondino, had also recently confirmed that Argentina would renounce joining the BRICS.
Milei has in the past had very harsh words towards the Chinese regime or President Lula, described among other things as a “corrupt communist”. Even if, between the two rounds and even more since his election, he has spectacularly lowered his tone and laid the foundations for peaceful diplomatic relations with Brasilia and Beijing, respectively Argentina’s two main commercial partners.
He nevertheless always maintained that he considered the United States and Israel to be his natural strategic allies.
The spokesperson for the Argentine presidency explained on Friday that the letters sent to the BRICS illustrate “that we are in a process of change in foreign policy which justifies a much more in-depth analysis than that of the previous government”.