Russian President Vladimir Putin railed at Western-led sanctions in a prerecorded speech at the BRICS summit.
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Russian President Putin railed against Western sanctions and touted de-dollarization at the BRICS summit.
Putin made his comments via tape as he would be arrested if he attends the summit in person.
Putin said the BRICS bloc represents the “global majority” and is an alternative to the Western order.
Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot attend the BRICS summit in South Africa in person for fear of arrest — but he couldn’t pass up railing against the West and the dollar dominance via tape.
On Tuesday, Putin slammed Western sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war in a 17-minute prerecorded speech broadcasted at the summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. BRICS member nations include Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Putin said the trade restrictions imposed on Russia amounted to “illegitimate sanctions practice and illegal freezing of assets of sovereign states, which essentially amounts to them trampling upon all the basic norms and rules of free trade,” according to an Associated Press translation of his speech at the three-day event that started on Tuesday.
Putin isn’t attending the BRICS summit in person because South Africa — a member of the International Criminal Court that has a warrant out for Putin — would be forced to arrest him if he shows up.
In the same speech, Putin also touted de-dollarization and renewed his call to increase the use of local currencies for trade.
“The objective, irreversible process of de-dollarization of our economic ties is gaining momentum,” Putin said, per a Reuters translation. He added that the summit participants would discuss in detail all the issues and mechanisms related to local currency trade.
Russia has been largely shut out of the dollar-dominated international payments system following its invasion of Ukraine and is facing challenges in its economy. It’s gotten so testy that top officials in Russia appear to be blaming one another for the country’s economic woes in public.
Countries globally are also lining up backup currencies for trade and transactions as sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine have led to some prominent world leaders and business figures sounding a warning over the power Washington — and the dollar — wields.
Over 40 countries have already expressed interest in joining the BRICS bloc as an alternative to Western-led international groupings. Russia’s in favor of adding new members and Putin held up the bloc as the “global majority.”
“We cooperate on the principles of equality, partnership support, respect for each other’s interests, and this is the essence of the future-oriented strategic course of our association, a course that meets the aspirations of the main part of the world community, the so-called global majority,” Putin said, per Reuters.
The BRICS bloc is home to 40% of the world’s population and a quarter of global GDP.