Argentina’s U-Turn: Javier Milei’s Decision to Reject BRICS Membership

Argentina's U-Turn: Javier Milei's Decision to Reject BRICS Membership

In a surprising turn of events, Argentina, under the leadership of President Javier Milei, has decided not to join the BRICS group starting from January 1, 2024, reversing the previous center-left government’s decision. The Argentine presidency confirmed this decision in a letter addressed to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and other members of the BRICS group, including Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

In the letter, Milei explained that “the incorporation of the Argentine Republic into BRICS as a full member from January 1, 2024, is not considered appropriate” by his government. He further elaborated, stating, “As you know, the foreign policy approach of my government, which I have presided over for a few days, differs in many ways from that of the previous government. In this regard, some decisions made by the previous administration will be reviewed, including the creation of a unit… for the active participation of the country in BRICS,” as reported by several media outlets.

The decision to refuse BRICS membership was already expressed by Milei during his election campaign, where he stated that he would not join BRICS if elected, citing his refusal “to encourage contracts with communists because they do not respect the foundations of free trade, freedom, and democracy; this is geopolitics.” Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino also recently confirmed that Argentina would abandon its plans to integrate into BRICS.

Javier Milei has previously used strong language when discussing the Chinese regime and President Lula, referring to him, among other things, as a “corrupt communist.” However, following his election, Milei has significantly softened his stance and laid the groundwork for improved diplomatic relations with Brasilia and Beijing, both of which are Argentina’s top two trading partners. He has nevertheless consistently maintained that he considers the United States and Israel as his natural strategic allies.

The spokesperson for the Argentine presidency explained on Friday that the letters sent to BRICS illustrate “that we are in a process of changing foreign policy, which justifies a much deeper analysis than that of the previous government.”

A Shift in Argentina’s Foreign Policy

Argentina’s decision to reject BRICS membership marks a significant shift in the country’s foreign policy under President Javier Milei. While his strong rhetoric during the election campaign may have raised doubts about his government’s stance on international relations, Milei’s decision not to join BRICS suggests a reevaluation of Argentina’s global alliances.

As Argentina redefines its foreign policy priorities, it remains to be seen how this decision will impact the country’s relationships with BRICS members and other international partners. The rejection of BRICS membership highlights the complexities of global diplomacy and the importance of aligning foreign policy with domestic goals and values.

In the ever-evolving landscape of international relations, Argentina’s U-turn on BRICS membership serves as a reminder of the fluid nature of geopolitics and the need for careful consideration when it comes to forming and maintaining alliances on the world stage.

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