Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has pledged to serve as a mediator between Argentina and the BRICS bloc, which is comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, to help the country navigate its financial and economic crisis. Lula has expressed his commitment to helping his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernández, by facilitating economic assistance from BRICS countries. This comes as Argentina experiences record-breaking levels of inflation and devaluation, and struggles to find solutions to these issues.
During a 4-hour meeting held in Brazil, Lula expressed his political support for Fernández, stating: “From a political point of view, I made a commitment to my friend Alberto Fernández that I will make any and all sacrifices so that we can help Argentina in this difficult time.” Lula also criticized the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its role in hindering Argentina’s progress, and called on the organization to take action to alleviate Argentina’s debt burden. He stated: “The IMF knows how Argentina got into debt, knows who it lent the money to. Therefore, you cannot keep putting pressure on a country that only wants to grow, create jobs and improve people’s lives.”
President Lula also took concrete actions during the meeting. He called Dilma Rouseff, the current President of the New Development Bank, to request the modification of a rule that would allow the institution to offer direct aid to countries outside of the BRICS bloc. He stated: “Dilma was riding her bike in the morning in China and she promised to propose that the article be removed.” In addition to this, Brazil and Argentina are in talks regarding the establishment of a credit line that would allow for Brazilian exports to be paid for in reals. This initiative would be facilitated through an intermediary bank, with Argentina repaying the funds later. This would allow Brazilian businesses to regain their position as significant partners of Argentina, which has been lost in recent years to China. The Brazilian Minister of Finance estimated that Brazil has lost $6 billion in exports during the last five years against China in Argentina.