Diana Mondino, senior economic adviser to Milei, confirmed this development to Sputnik Brazil on Nov. 20, a day after Milei won the country's second presidential runoff. She told the outlet that Argentina was not planning to become a BRICS member come Jan. 1, 2024. The nation's prior request to join the group was approved in August – alongside those from Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
"I don't know why there is so much interest around BRICS," said Mondino, who is Milei's candidate for foreign minister in his cabinet. She added that it remained uncertain as to how joining the group would benefit Buenos Aires. Nevertheless, Mondino remarked that the government will "analyze" if joining the BRICS would reap rewards for the country.
The conservative Milei had previously expressed opposition to joining BRICS unlike his predecessor, outgoing Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez. He has also voiced hesitancy to support economic ties with Russia and China – two of the BRICS core members. Instead, Milei has striven to establish ties with the U.S. and Israel.
"I'm not going to push for deals with communists because they don't respect the basic parameters of free trade, freedom and democracy; it's geopolitics," Milei said in August. He added that "some countries are not along those lines." (Related: Frontrunner in Argentina's presidential elections calls China an "assassin," points to the country's LACK OF FREEDOM.)
Despite this, Milei pledged not to interfere with Argentine businesses involved with BRICS member countries. He has also vowed to "dollarize" Argentina's economy – which contrasts with BRICS' goal to wean itself off the U.S. dollar.
A Nov. 20 report by Bloomberg said Milei has promised "shock therapy" to address Argentina's embattled economy. The South American nation is presently dealing with its worst economic crisis, with inflation surging 60 percent over the past year alone.
Making matters worse is Argentina's $44 billion debt, which is due to be paid to international bondholders and the International Monetary Fund next year. Martin Castellano of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of International Finance said the country will need "a big current account surplus amid a stabilization plan" to tackle the arrears.
In August, Fernandez described the opportunity to join BRICS as a "new scenario" for Argentina. His comment followed Moscow's acceptance of Buenos Aires' request for membership.
Fernandez earlier expressed hope that Argentina will become a full BRICS member. "We are enthusiastic about the prospect of coordinating policies that enhance the agenda of the countries of the global south," said the Argentinian leader. "We aspire to be full members of this group of nations."
The outgoing Argentinian president also cited several reasons why the country joining BRICS is a productive prospect.
"We are safe and responsible food suppliers, recognized in the field of biotechnology and applied logistics technology. This means that we are not only capable of producing and exporting food. We also know how to provide services and train specialists, so that other countries can increase their productive efficiency and thus improve the quality of life of their inhabitants."
Visit Dedollarization.news for more stories about the BRICS group.
Watch this Russia Today report about the BRICS group opening up to new members.
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