By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The President of Argentina on Friday officially wrote to leaders of BRICS, a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to announce his country’s decision to withdraw from the planned entry into the alliance of major emerging economies.
Javier Milei said the moment was not “opportune” for Argentina to join as a full member.
The bloc made up of the G20 nations in August declared its willingness to admitting six new members.
The membership of Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates was due to take effect from January 1, 2024.
The BRICS nations currently account for about 40% of the world’s population and more than a quarter of the world’s GDP, with as many as 14 nations mostly from Asia, Africa and the Middle East interested in joining the bloc.
The letter personally signed by President Milei and published by several media houses said Argentina’s membership was “not considered appropriate at this time”.
He however expressed his readiness to hold meetings with each of the five BRICS leaders.
The libertarian outsider and former TV personality Milei came to power this month after defeating Argentina’s traditional political parties.
During the campaigns, he had vowed not to join BRICS.
He said his foreign policy “differs in many aspects from that of the previous government. In this sense, some decisions made by the previous administration will be reviewed,” the letter read in part.
Milei’s predecessor, former center-left president Alberto Fernandez, had endorsed joining the alliance as an opportunity to reach new markets.