RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (22) asked the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) for help in overcoming economic sanctions imposed in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.
“Our entrepreneurs are forced to develop their activities in difficult conditions as the Western allies disregard the basic principles of market economy and free trade,” Putin lamented in a recorded speech broadcast during the BRICS Business Forum on the eve of the BRICS summit.
According to the Russian leader, “the constant imposition of new sanctions for political reasons around the world contradicts common sense and elementary economic logic.”
The Russian president also stated that his country’s financial system is “expanding its presence” and is “open to links with the banks of BRICS countries.”
“We are studying the possibility of creating an alternative international reserve currency based on the basket of BRICS currencies,” he said.
Following the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Western countries swiftly sanctioned about half of Russian FX reserves. BRICS countries, but especially China, took notice of the speed and stealth at which sanctions were imposed, thus projecting the necessity of a BRICS reserve currency.
“The Russian Financial Messaging System is open for connection with the banks of the BRICS countries. The Russian MIR payment system is expanding its presence. We are exploring the possibility of creating an international reserve currency based on the basket of BRICS currencies,” the Russian president said in a video message to BRICS forum participants.
Putin also said Russia intends to sign trade agreements with reliable nations, as is the case with Brics members. “Negotiations are underway to open stores of Indian chains in Russia and increase the share of Chinese cars in the Russian market.”
China’s President Xi Jinping criticized the sanctions and sent a direct message to the United States, but without mentioning the country’s name: “Politicizing and instrumentalizing the global economy, using a dominant position in the global financial system to impose sanctions without restraint only harms others and brings suffering to people around the world.”
The 14th BRICS Summit, chaired by the Chinese government, will be held virtually Thursday (June 23).