Argentine President To Be ‘Proactive’ in BRICS Discussions; Seek Support for Fight Against Vultures

During the July 16 meeting in Brasilia with members of the BRICS grouping and other Ibero-American governments, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez intends to be “proactive” in presenting Argentina’s case against the predatory vulture funds and seek a written statement of support for her government’s position in defense of national sovereignty, cabinet chief of staff Jorge Capitanich said today.

Capitanich reported that the Argentine President is expected to address the meeting involving heads of state of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and those of the BRICS members, “in order to deepen the dialogue, set agenda items, and explain Argentina’s position on the debt and its permanent battle in all international forums on the issue of the vulture funds.”

He added that the government will also sound out the possibility of participating in the new BRICS bank, whose creation he said, was very important. There is an urgent need for a real development bank, he explained, that can function as “an important tool to finance infrastructure projects and increase competitiveness,” not like the IMF, the World Bank or the Inter-American Development Bank (BID), which simply function as “tools of extortion of the most advanced countries and concentrated forms of wealth.”

Those entities, which impose conditionalities either directly or indirectly on borrowers, don’t deserve the name of multilateral lending agencies or development banks, Capitanich charged. If they ever played that role, it has today been completely “denaturalized,” he said, because of their allegiance to “exacerbated neoliberalism.”

He added: “It’s very important…that other powerful nations—the BRICS—have the ability to create new agencies that will make possible the sovereign development of our nations… to have autonomy… and give new dynamics to development strategies.” It’s necessary, he said, for the world to have a “qualitatively different vision” of what’s possible.

Brazil and Russia Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Further Cooperation on Nuclear Power

As part of Russian President Putin’s official visit to Brazil, preceding the BRICS summit there, Russian nuclear representative Dzhomart Aliyev and Brazilian company Camargo Correa representatives signed a Memorandum of Understanding today, to expand bilateral cooperation in nuclear power. According to the Russian press, a spent-fuel storage facility, the construction of engineering and other technical facilities at Brazil’s Angra operating nuclear power plant site, and a “partnership” in the construction of new nuclear plants in Brazil, are included in the MOU.

Similar to the agreement reached the previous day with Argentina, the new Russian MOU with Brazil is a follow-on to previous, more general, cooperative agreements. In 2008, a meeting between then-President Medvedev and then-President Lula da Silva initiated the proposal for increased nuclear cooperation, which broadened an earlier, 1994 agreement. In 2009, the two presidents discussed this again, at the first official BRIC (before South Africa joined) summit in Russia. A working group to determine areas of cooperation was created.

In June 2013, Rosatom announced that it was ready to build Russian-designed nuclear power plants in Brazil, and to finance them. At that time, Brazil’s Electrobras stated its plan to build 4-8 new nuclear plants. The new agreement signed today broadens nuclear cooperation between these two BRICS nations, to include a wider range of nuclear technologies.

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