Why has Argentina decided against joining BRICS?

FILE PHOTO: Argentine president-elect Javier Milei addresses supporters after winning Argentina's runoff presidential election, in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 19, 2023. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo

Argentina has reversed the decision to become a member of the BRICS group of developing nations, confirming the country will no longer join the bloc despite having celebrated their upcoming membership just a few months ago under Argentina’s former presidency.

The Arguments

Diana Mondino, who will soon serve as Argentina’s Foreign Minister has recently expressed her opposition to joining the BRICS in a social media post on X. This aligns with the views of Javier Milei, Argentina’s newly elected president, who has openly criticised Brazil and China who are both members of BRICS. Milei, a right wing leader, is determined to bring about significant changes in Argentina’s foreign policy by distancing the nation from the country’s major trading partners.

The Facts

Despite former president Alberto Fernández’s enthusiasm, Argentina rejects BRICS membership. He had speculated that the BRIC membership was an opportunity which would open a way to open new markets and attract investments.

Starting on January 1, 2024 Argentina was scheduled to join the BRICS, alongside Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

President elect Milei referred to Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as an “angry communist” and vehemently criticised China. He even went as far as threatening to sever ties with China as he compared their government to an assassin. This approach represents a shift, from the administration’s foreign policy strategy.

Argentina’s choice to decline membership in the BRICS signifies a change in the country’s policy under its new president. This decision despite enthusiasm highlights a shift, in priorities and a willingness to question the existing political landscape.

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