President Javier Milei Formally Withdraws Argentina’s BRICS Application

Argentina’s newly elected far-right President, Javier Milei, has confirmed that the country will not join the BRICS bloc, as promised during his campaign. 

In a letter addressed to the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, dated December 22, Milei said that it’s not a good time for Argentina to be included in the bloc. He emphasized differences in his approach to foreign affairs compared to the previous government, and said “In this sense, some decisions made by the previous administration will be reviewed.”

Argentina was set to join BRICS on January 1, 2024. Milei added that he aims to intensify bilateral ties to enhance trade and investment flows without becoming a part of the group.

Milei, a self-described anarcho-libertarian, has been implementing radical economic reforms since taking office in December, steering away from the previous administration’s efforts to build ties with other developing countries. 

The president, who criticized communist-led countries during his campaign, particularly China, expressed his intention to align with “free nations of the West” like the United States in economic and foreign policy. He also wasn’t very shy about his admiration for former president Donald Trump, even consistently emphasizing a potential alliance with the US and Israel if he wins. 

He could also be an Elon Musk fan — less than 24 hours into his presidency, Milei cut the number of his government’s ministries by half, removing Transportation, Public Works, Health, Social Development, Education, Women, Genders and Diversity, Culture, Science and Technology, Environment, Tourism and Sports, Territorial Development.

The following day, his government announced a 54% currency devaluation and substantial spending cuts as part of his shock therapy attempt to revive the country’s ailing economy.

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