BY TYLER DURDEN
TUESDAY, AUG 22, 2023 – 05:04 PM
Update(1704ET): In their inaugural day ‘family photo’, BRICS leaders posed without Russia’s President Putin, as FM Lavrov took his place given the ICC arrest warrant and Rome Statute would require the South African government to seek his arrest.
Putin addressed the summit remotely, and emphasized in the Russian-language speech that de-dollarization is "gaining momentum". He said the dollar’s receding global centrality is an "objective and irreversible" process. As expected he struck an optimistic tone about the bloc’s future, also at a moment China’s XI is urging BRICS to become a geopolitical rival to the G7:
The Russian leader claimed the five BRICS members – Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa – are becoming the new world economic leaders, adding that their cumulative share of global GDP has reached 26%.
He noted that if measured by purchasing power parity, BRICS has already surpassed the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations – accounting for 31% of the global economy, compared to 30% for the G7.
Over the past 10 years, mutual investment between the BRICS member states has increased by six times. Their total investments in the world economy have doubled, while cumulative exports account for 20% of the global total, Putin said.
Putin also took a swipe at the US and West’s "Illegitimate sanctions… seriously weigh on the international economic situation," and the "unlawful freezing of sovereign states’ assets" – in a message sure to be greeted positively among many aspiring Brics applicants. "We are consistently increasing fuel, food and fertilizer supplies to the states of the Global South," he added, while also blaming international food shortages on the West’s "unlawful" sanctions.
As for Xi, international press reports took note of his already skipping an important meeting on day one, leading to speculation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in South Africa for the 15th BRICS summit, running from August 22-24, where he was greeted in Johannesburg by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is hosting the summit in the executive capital of Pretoria.
It is merely the Chinese leader’s second trip abroad this year, after in March he met his "dear friend" President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Putin will be absent for the BRICS meeting after South Africa signaled it was being pressured to enforce the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) which would require the government to arrest the Russian leader.
Please read more and listen to video clips at the below link: