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Putin can’t attend the BRICS summit for fear of arrest, but he couldn’t resist taking potshots against the West and the US dollar via cassette tapes

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced Western-led sanctions in a pre-recorded speech at the BRICS summit.Per Anders Pettersson/Getty Image

  • At the BRICS summit, Russian President Putin denounced Western sanctions and praised de-dollarization.

  • Putin made his remarks via tape, as he would be arrested if he attended 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 can’t attend the BRICS summit in South Africa in person for fear of arrest — but he couldn’t pass up criticism of the West and dollar dominance via tape.

On Tuesday, Putin denounced Western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine’s war in a 17-minute pre-recorded speech broadcast at the summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. BRICS member states include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Putin said trade restrictions imposed on Russia amounted to “unlawful sanctions practices and illegal asset freezing of sovereign states, essentially violating all basic norms and rules of free trade,” according to an Associated Press translation. of his speech. during the three-day event that kicked off on Tuesday.

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Putin does not attend the BRICS summit in person because South Africa – a member of the International Criminal Court that has issued an arrest warrant against Putin – would be forced to arrest him if he shows up.

In the same speech, Putin also touted de-dollarization and reiterated his call to increase the use of local currency for trade.

“The objective, irreversible process of de-dollarizing our economic ties is gaining momentum,” Putin said in a translation by Reuters. He added that the summit participants would discuss in detail all issues and mechanisms related to local currency trading.

Russia has been largely excluded from the dollar-dominated international payments system following the invasion of Ukraine and is facing challenges in its economy. It has become so irritable that top officials in Russia seem to be publicly blaming each other for the country’s economic problems.

Countries around the world are also establishing reserve currencies for trade and transactions, as sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine have prompted some prominent world leaders and businessmen to issue a warning about the power Washington—and the dollar—holds.

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More than 40 countries have already expressed interest in joining the BRICS bloc as an alternative to Western-led international groups. Russia favors adding new members and Putin upheld the bloc as the “global majority.”

“We work together on the principles of equality, support for partnerships and respect for each other’s interests, and this is the essence of our association’s forward-looking strategic direction, one that meets the aspirations of most of the world community, the so-called global majority,” Putin said, according to Reuters.

The BRICS bloc is home to 40% of the world’s population and a quarter of global GDP.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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