Argentina’s U-turn from BRICS? Milei’s victory triggers doubts

Argentina's U-turn from BRICS? Milei's victory triggers doubts

In this post:

  • Javier Milei’s presidential victory in Argentina signals a shift in foreign policy, potentially leading to Argentina declining an invitation to join the BRICS economic bloc.
  • Milei’s campaign promises included abolishing the Central Bank of Argentina, replacing the Peso with the U.S. dollar, and cutting ties with key trading partners Brazil and China.
  • Diana Mondino, a key advisor to Milei, expresses skepticism about the benefits of BRICS membership for Argentina, indicating a likely decline of the invitation.

In the wake of Javier Milei’s triumph in Argentina’s presidential election, the nation is poised at a crucial crossroads, with significant socio-economic implications looming. Milei, a far-right figure, has ushered in a new era that seems to steer Argentina away from joining the BRICS economic bloc, a move that was anticipated just months ago.

BRICS membership in doubt

Argentina’s potential induction into BRICS, a consortium of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is now under reconsideration. This development follows Milei’s electoral promises that signal a radical shift in Argentina’s foreign policy and economic strategy. One of Milei’s key campaign pledges was to abolish the Central Bank of Argentina and replace the national currency, the Peso, with the U.S. dollar. This drastic measure is aimed at addressing the persistent financial crisis in Argentina.

Further straining international relations, Milei has expressed intentions to sever ties with Brazil and China, both of which have been significant trade partners for Argentina. His stance on not maintaining political links with China or any other communist country marks a significant departure from Argentina’s previous diplomatic approaches.

Domestic and international reactions

Diana Mondino, a prominent Argentine economist and a potential candidate for the position of foreign minister, has reportedly indicated that Argentina might decline the BRICS invitation. Mondino’s remarks reflect a sense of skepticism about the benefits of joining the group, a sentiment that appears to be shared by the new administration.

This shift has drawn international attention, with Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, commenting on the situation. Ning emphasized the importance of BRICS as a platform for emerging markets and developing countries to enhance solidarity cooperation and safeguard mutual interests.

Argentina’s candidacy for BRICS membership, supported by the group’s founding members during their last summit, is now in jeopardy. Milei’s electoral victory over incumbent finance minister Sergio Massa was decisive, garnering 56% of the vote. His campaign rhetoric included strong opposition to business relations with communist countries and a preference for aligning with “the civilized side of the world.”

As Argentina embarks on this new political trajectory under Milei’s leadership, the future of its international relationships, particularly with key players like China, remains uncertain. While Milei’s administration has sought to moderate its tone in recent weeks, the implications of his proposed policies and the potential reorientation away from BRICS signify a significant shift in Argentina’s global engagement strategy.

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