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Putin Tells BRICS Business Forum, NDB Is ‘Credible Alternative to Existing Western Development Institutions’

Aug. 22, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—BRICS leaders addressed the BRICS Business Forum at its conclusion today, as is customary, and Russian President Vladimir Putin among them, albeit by video. While Putin was prevented by a blatantly fraudulent International Criminal Court arrest warrant from attending the BRICS summit in Johannesburg in person, his remarks delivered by livestream zeroed in on critical points that can be taken up by the BRICS leaders’ summit.

Putin said:

“It is important that this Forum focuses on such pressing issues as the post-pandemic economic recovery of the BRICS states, improvement of citizens’ well-being, industrial modernization, development of effective transport and logistics chains, and stimulation of equitable technology transfers.

“These challenging and complex tasks need to be tackled against the backdrop of the increasing volatility in stock, currency, energy and food markets, coupled with substantial inflationary pressure stemming from, inter alia, the irresponsible large-scale money creation by a number of countries seeking to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, which has led to the accumulation of private and public debt.

“The global economic situation is also seriously affected by the illegitimate sanctions practice and illegal freezing of assets of sovereign states, which essentially amounts to trampling upon all the basic norms and rules of free trade and economic life—norms and rules that not so long ago seemed immutable.”

He went on:

“Prices for food, basic agricultural products and crops are forced up, making the most vulnerable, poor countries suffer the most.

“Importantly, under these circumstances the BRICS states have stepped up their interaction.... More and more new infrastructure and investment projects are being launched, mutual trade is growing, industry contacts are expanding.

“The main thing is that our cooperation is based on the principles of equality, partner support, and respect for each other’s interests. And that is what lies at the core of our Association’s forward-looking strategic course—the course that reflects the aspirations of most of the world’s community, the so-called global majority.”

Putin emphasized:

“The objective and irreversible process of the de-dollarization of our economic ties is gaining pace. We are working to fine-tune effective mechanisms for mutual settlements and monetary and financial control. As a result, the share of U.S. dollar in export and import operations within BRICS is declining: last year it stood at only 28.7%.

“Incidentally, during this summit we will discuss in detail the entire range of issues related to the transition to national currencies in all areas of economic cooperation between our five nations. The BRICS New Development Bank, which has already become a credible alternative to existing Western development institutions, has a great role to play in these efforts.”

Putin highlighted two major international connectivity routes Russia is collaborating on: The Northern Sea route which runs from the Barents Sea, near Russia’s border with Norway, to the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska; and the 7,000 km International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) running from St. Petersburg to Mumbai, via Iran and Caspian Sea region, among other countries.

He focused participants’ attention on fundamental objectives: “to fight poverty, expand people’s access to quality healthcare, eradicate hunger and improve food security.” “As a first step, we have decided to gratuitously provide six African countries with 25‑50,000 tons of grain each with free delivery of these cargoes. Negotiations with partners are being completed.”

He concluded his remarks:

“I would like to invite representatives of your countries’ business circles to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia that will take place on Sept. 10-13 in the city of Vladivostok, where, by tradition, the discussions will focus on issues that are also of interest to the business communities of the BRICS countries.”

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