Trade between Russia and the BRICS countries increased by 38%

Trade between Russia and the BRICS countries increased by 38%

 Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was diverting its trade routes to China and India, as well as Brazil and South Africa, as the West sought to cut economic ties. "We are actively engaged in the reorientation of trade flows and our foreign economic contacts towards reliable international partners, especially the BRICS countries," Putin said in his opening video address to the participants of the virtual BRICS summit. According to CNN, the acronym "BRICS" refers to the informal grouping of five developing countries. According to Putin, trade between Russia and the BRICS countries increased by 38 percent and reached $45 billion in the first three months of this year. 

"Contacts between Russian business circles and the business community of the BRICS countries have increased," Putin said. "For example, negotiations are underway to open an Indian chain store in Russia [and] increase the share of Chinese cars, equipment and hardware in our market." Russia has also increased its oil exports to China and India, which have been picking up barrels at massive discounts. 

China's crude oil imports from Russia surged to record levels in May, eliminating Saudi Arabia as the country's top supplier. Putin added that Russia's system for sending messages between financial institutions was open to linking banks from five countries.
He also admitted that Moscow found new ways to transact without relying on currencies such as the dollar or the euro. 

"Together with BRICS partners, we are developing reliable alternative mechanisms for international settlement," Putin said. In his speech, Putin accused the West of ignoring "basic principles of a market economy" such as free trade. "This undermines business interests on a global scale, has a negative impact on the well-being of people, basically, all countries," he said. The BRICS summit, hosted by Beijing, is Putin's first international forum with other major economic heads since ordering the invasion of Ukraine in late February. 

Sanctions from the West have cut Russia off a huge swath of the global economy and pushed the country into a deep recession. But Moscow continues to earn money from exports, especially as energy prices rise. The International Energy Agency estimates that Russia's oil export earnings rose to about $20 billion in May.

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