Argentina won’t join BRICS as scheduled, says member of Milei’s transition team

The move appears to be a preview of the drastic shift in foreign policy that will be implemented in Argentina once right-wing populist takes office

Argentine President-elect Javier Milei
Argentine President-elect Javier Milei reacts after the session of the legislative assembly at the National Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 29, 2023.AGUSTIN MARCARIAN (REUTERS)

Argentina will not be joining the BRICS bloc of developing economies next year as scheduled, a senior official in President-elect Javier Milei’s team said Thursday.

“We will not join the BRICS,” Diana Mondino, who Milei picked as foreign minister once he is sworn into office on Dec. 10, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The move appears to be a preview of the drastic shift in foreign policy that will be implemented in Argentina once right-wing populist Milei takes office.

Milei, a libertarian, harshly criticized China while on the campaign trail and threatened to break diplomatic relations with the country ,saying in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that “I am not going to do business with any communist.”

Although he has toned down that rhetoric since winning the Nov. 19 election, Mile has also criticized the leftist government of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

During the campaign, Milei, an admirer of former President Donald Trump, repeatedly said that if he were to win “my allies would be the United States and Israel.” Mondino had previously downplayed the importance of BRICS.

BRICS “is more related to a political alignment than to advantages that could exist for trade between countries,” she said in an interview two weeks ago. “We already have diplomatic and trade relations with most of them.”

Argentina was among six countries invited in August to join the bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to make an 11-nation bloc. Argentina was set to join Jan. 1, 2024.

At the time, President Alberto Fernández celebrated the invitation, saying it would help Argentina reach new markets.

The bloc was formed by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2009 and added South Africa in 2010.

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