Argentine President Alberto Fernández called off his trip to Johannesburg after learning that his country would not be -at least for now- joining the BRICS (a trade bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) during the ongoing XV Summit, it was reported in Buenos Aires.
The official entry of new countries was not on the agenda of the first face-to-face meeting of the group after the Covid-19 pandemic, it was explained. Since Argentina was one of the countries to have formally applied for membership, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero is expected to make a telescreen participation Thursday during the meetings known as BRICS Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue.
In this scenario, Argentina will not be eligible for immediate credit from the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), it was explained.
The bloc represents more than 42% of the world's population and 30% of the planet's territory, as well as 23% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 18% of global trade.
After canceling his trip, President Fernández will visit the provinces of Neuquén and La Pampa in his first public appearances after the Aug. 13 Mandatory, Open, and Simultaneous Primary (PASO) elections.
Among those who did attend the BRICS Summit were Presidents Luis Arce Catacora of Bolivia and Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, thus joining BRICS leaders Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, China's Xi Jinping, and South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, in addition to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would not travel due to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against him for alleged war crimes in Ukraine. He is represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, although he is expected to make a telematic appearance.