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BRICS Finance Ministers Creating Settlement System Safe from ‘Whims of the West’

March 13, 2024 (EIRNS)—In an interview in the first issue of newly-created TASS “BRICS Bulletin” published today, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, who serves as Russia’s Sherpa in the BRICS, ruled out the creation of a BRICS currency, but did discuss the possibility of creating a payments systems similar to that of the pre-euro European Union. He explained:

“As for a single currency, similar to what was created by the European Union, this is hardly possible in the foreseeable future. If we are talking about clearing forms of mutual settlements such as ECU [European Currency Unit] at an early stage of development of the European Union (in the absence of a real means of payment, but the opportunity to more effectively use the available resources of the countries in mutual settlements to avoid losses due to differences in exchange rates, and so on), then this is precisely the path along which, in my opinion, BRICS should move. This is under consideration.”

According to Ryabkov, “BRICS should not create a financial and monetary alliance, but work hard to create payment and settlement systems that do not depend upon [the] whims of the West. A group of experts, led by the ministries of finance and representatives of the central banks of the respective countries, is working on this issue.” He noted that there are also consultations in other formats, including with the participation of representatives of the “historical West” who were invited there.”

In response to a question if the BRICS expansion would continue during the Russian chairmanship, he said that, while candidates would not be considered until the Kazan summit later this year: “We must provide a platform for the countries, interested in rapprochement with the BRICS, where they will be able to work practically, without feeling left behind, and joining this cooperation rhythm. And as to how the further expansion will be decided upon—this should be postponed at least until the leaders convene in Kazan to decide.” He added the BRICS leaders at the 2023 summit in Johannesburg also set a goal “to develop the category of partner states, to create a list of such states.”