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Putin Urges BRICS to Seek Sway by Countering U.S.-EU Role

Vladimir Putin And Dilma Rousseff
Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, left, and Dilma Rousseff, Brazils president, center, stand during the welcoming ceremony at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on July 14, 2014. Photographer: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

July 15 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin urged fellow leaders of the world’s largest emerging economies to seek a bigger global role, accusing the U.S. and its allies of abusing their dominance of international institutions.

“It is time to raise BRICS’ role to a new level and to make our group an unalienable part of the global order to ensure sustainable development,” Putin said in an interview with Itar-Tass, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin today. The group holds a July 15-16 summit in Brazil’s coastal city of Fortaleza and the capital Brasilia.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, known as the BRICS, should coordinate their policies to “help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with the foreign policy decisions made by the U.S. and their allies,” Putin said, thanking the other members of the group for their support over Ukraine.

Russia, which has been hit with sanctions over its role in Ukraine’s conflict amid the biggest confrontation with the U.S. and Europe since the Cold War, is trying to shore up its global clout through other alliances. All BRICS members except for Russia abstained from a United Nations vote in March that called on states not to recognize Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. Russia was on one of 11 countries in the 193-member UN General Assembly to reject a U.S.-backed resolution.

Thanks to the “principled” stance at the UN of Russia and China, both permanent members of the Security Council, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad avoided the fate of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, according to the Russian leader.

Greater Say

Putin also demanded changes to the global financial system, including greater say at the International Monetary Fund for emerging powers, to end the current dependence on U.S. economic policies. The BRICS will approve the creation of a $100 billion reserve fund and $50 billion development bank at the summit in Brazil.

Emerging nations have sought more voting powers at the IMF and an end to the convention of naming a European to head the Washington-based lender and an American to lead the World Bank.

The BRICS have evolved from the original term coined in 2001 by then-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Jim O’Neill to describe the growing weight of the largest emerging markets in the global economy. In 2011, South Africa joined to give the BRICS a broader geographic representation.

Still, the group has struggled to make its voice heard. The five countries failed to agree on a candidate to head the World Bank in 2012 and the IMF in 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net Paul Abelsky, Andrew Langley

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