Russia’s Putin scores points at Ufa BRICS summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be having more success hosting the seventh annual BRICS summit than he did hosting the Olympics.

Leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are meeting this week in Ufa, Russia. Already, the group can count two successes, its largest initiatives to date.

It launched the BRICS New Development Bank, which has taken three years of negotiations to bring to fruition. With about $50 billion in starting capital, the bank is expected to start issuing debt to fund infrastructure projects next year. They also launched a foreign-exchange currency fund of $100 billion.

The two new endeavors are statements that the five largest emerging markets are both looking out for each other and, simultaneously, moving away from the western financing institutions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“The BRICS states intend to actively use their own resources and internal resources for development,” Putin said, according to Reuters. “The New (Development) Bank will help finance joint, large-scale projects in transport and energy infrastructure, industrial development.”

Birthing the two initiatives in Russia had been Putin’s top priorities.

Russia has been hurting economically in the wake of Western sanctions over its role in the Ukraine crisis and a sharp drop in its chief export, oil. These new signs of cooperation come at a very good time for a Russia needing to find new markets to make up for its loss of Europe.

And they appear to be working. “On Thursday its finance minister said China had bought around $1 billion worth of Russian domestic bonds this year,” reported Reuters.

Xi and Putin in Ufa

Xi and Putin in Ufa

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he looked forward to more cooperation among the BRICS, while avoiding talk of the stock market decline on the mainland.

In other developments, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a 10-point initiative to promote greater coordination among the five countries. Among the initiatives, Modi suggested an annual trade fair that India would host next year. Other initiatives include “a Railway Research Centre, cooperation among supreme audit institutions, a Digital Initiative and an Agricultural Research Centre,” reported NDTV.

The group also collectively commented on the Iran nuclear situation. In a summit declaration, the BRICS asked “for a swift permanent agreement on curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. The language of the statement was careful, and devoid of finger-pointing,” reported Reuters.

The BRICS called for “the normalization of trade and investment with Iran” and said any deal should “provide for the comprehensive lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran”, reported Reuters.

Together, the BRICS hold 40% of the world’s population and produce about 20% of its economic output.



Categories: Asia Unhedged, China, South Asia

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  • $16087203

    Slightly Western-biased, no?

    1. “more success hosting the seventh annual BRICS summit than he did hosting the Olympics.

    whisper it, but the Sochi Olympics were widely acclaimed as a success: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/winter-olympics/10657193/Sochi-2014-New-Russia-revels-in-the-success-of-the-perfect-made-for-TV-Winter-Olympics.html but that’s not a popular view in the West, because Russians are Bad Guys, remember

    2. “Russia has been hurting economically in the wake of Western sanctions”

    whisper it, but the USA is increasing its trade with Russia, whilst the EU is the one suffering from sanctions http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150304/1019040184.html Russia has been busy signing new trade deals with all & sundry (Google it)

    3. “On Thursday its finance minister said China had bought around $1 billion worth of Russian domestic bonds this year”

    I’ll bet my hat he didn’t, because I am pretty certain that not one of those bonds would have been denominated in US$

    4. “while avoiding talk of the stock market decline on the mainland.”

    Yes, the bastard! And I bet he avoided talk of Tiananmen Square, and Tibet and Taiwan and eating dogs and all those other beastly beastly things the Chinese do all the time, everywhere.

    What, pray tell, has a slump in the Chinese Stock Market, got to do with the BRICS? – the more so as it is still in positive territory Year to Date, whilst e.g. the Dow Jones and the FTSE stock indexes have reported a loss so far this year?

    5. ““for a swift permanent agreement on curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. The language of the statement was careful, and devoid of finger-pointing,”

    Who is holding up a “swift permanent agreement”, and why is it necessary to be careful to avoid finger-pointing? “The BRICS called for “the normalization of trade and investment with Iran”” so who – approximately – is blocking that, and why? http://atimes.com/2015/07/why-there-is-still-no-nuke-deal-in-vienna-escobar/

    6. And finally, “Together, the BRICS hold 40% of the world’s population and produce about 20% of its economic output.”

    It was already 30% in 2014 http://rt.com/business/265723-brics-gdp-pushkov-russia/ and continues to grow http://ieconomics.com/brics-gdp-annual-growth-rate whilst the EU and USA are both experiencing GDP contraction.

    7. And what else did the BRICS official Summit statement at Ufa say, which is less relevant than the omission of references to the Chinese Stock Market and consequently not worth reporting? http://thebricspost.com/brics-adopts-ufa-declaration/

    “We are concerned about potential spillover effects from the unconventional monetary policies of the advanced economies” What, like the G7 clique?

    ““We express our commitment to resolutely reject the continued attempts to misrepresent the results of World War II.” What, like Obama boycotting the Russian and Chinese celebrations and the Japanese claiming the whole thing never happened?

    ““We emphasize the need for universal adherence to principles and rules of international law in their interrelation and integrity, discarding the resort to “double standards” and avoiding placing interests of some countries above others,” Whoever could they be referring to?

    “We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law” Ah, I see, now I am beginning to understand why this article wouldn’t want to report that ….

    Never mind, why let a few facts get in the way of a good narrative?

  • hummingbird

    Glad to hear it!

  • Robert Cox

    You Wont see this on CNN,NBC,ABC,Fox News

  • slavix

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be having more success hosting the seventh annual BRICS summit than he did hosting the Olympics.’ – Considering that Sochi Olympics were one of the best if not the best Olympics ever and Russia won more medals than any other country it is hard to beat such success, but BRICS and SCO summits were in fact a huge success and a historic world transformational event.

  • Edith Johnson

    I totally agree with you. The Sochi Olympics was the greatest I have seen in my 73 years. The closing ceremony is in my DVR for future enjoyment. Also the summit was a success.

  • slavix

    Did you watch the opening ceremony? It was magically beautiful.