Putin says Russia is redirecting trade to China and India

“We are actively involved in the reorientation of trade flows and our external economic contacts towards reliable international partners, in particular the BRICS countries,” Putin said in his opening speech to the participants of the virtual conference. BRICS summit.

The acronym “BRICS” refers to an informal grouping of the five developing economies.

According to Putin, trade between Russia and the BRICS countries increased by 38% and amounted to $45 billion in the first three months of the year.

“Contacts between Russian business circles and the business community of the BRICS countries have intensified,” Putin said. For example, negotiations are underway to open an Indian supermarket chain in Russia [and to] Increasing the share of Chinese cars, equipment and appliances in our market.”

Russia is also ramping up oil exports to China and India, which have been snapping up barrels at a significant discount. China imports crude from Russia to a record level in Maywhich overthrew Saudi Arabia as the country’s largest supplier.

Putin added that the Russian system of messaging between financial institutions is open to linking banks from the five countries, and that Moscow is finding new ways of transactions without relying on currencies such as the dollar or the euro.

“We are working with BRICS partners to develop reliable alternative mechanisms for international settlements,” Putin said.

In his speech, Putin accused the West of neglecting the “fundamental principles of [the] A market economy is like free trade.

“It undermines commercial interests on a global scale, and negatively affects the well-being of people, in fact, in all countries,” he said.

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The BRICS summit, hosted by Beijing, is Putin’s first international forum with the heads of other major economies since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Sanctions imposed by the West isolated Russia from large sectors of the global economy and Push the country into a deep recession. But Moscow continues to make money from exports, especially with soaring energy prices. The International Energy Agency estimates that Russian oil export earnings rose to about $20 billion in May.

Julia Horowitz contributed to the report.

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