Why not try to create a common currency for the BRICS countries?

Petr Akopov

The Americans offe-red to send Russian military equipment in service with the Col-ombian army to Ukraine, President Gustavo Petro confirmed in Buenos Aires at the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC):
“We do not take sides. We are on the side of peace. Therefore, not a single unit of Russian equipment, in whatever condition it may be on our territory, will be used in this conflict. <…> Latin America, instead of placing bets Which bloc will remain – NATO or Russia, must demand peace.”
In world geopolitics, Latin America is remembered last of all, including in the era of global transformation of everything and everything. Of all the regions of the world, it turns out to be the most unimportant – it cannot be compared not only with Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India or China, but even with Africa, for which there is a fierce struggle of all key players. And Latin America is some kind of outsider of no particular interest to anyone, which does not really affect anything: it seems to be no longer the “backyard” of the United States, but a huge number of internal problems in each of the countries of the region do not allow them to cooperate and become a full-fledged player in the world arena. But a multipolar world is already being built – and both the largest world powers and regional associations (not only the EU, but also such as ASEAN) are participating in this. Moreover, the role of the latter will only increase – and latecomers run the risk of remaining the object of manipulation.
At the same time, we are talking about a considerable part of humanity: Latin America is two-thirds of a billion people (comparable to Europe), living in 34 states. An entire continent, except for the USA and Canada. It is clear that the United States has historically considered it their own, and now their power – financial, economic, military and ideological – greatly exceeds the combined capabilities of all Latin Americans. But the Latin Americans do not want to integrate around and under the United States, because in this case they will not even be a junior partner, but simply a servant. It is obvious that the United States already has a huge impact on Latin America: the economy of the same Mexico- one of the two largest countries in the region – is almost completely tied to the States. But this does not negate the desire of the Latin American states to build their own integration project, based on their own strength, and not on dependence on the Americans. This moment in history offers Latin Americans a unique opportunity to begin real integration. Not because the attention of the States is diverted to the European and Pacific areas, but because right now the rules of the future world order are being formed.
Therefore, it is not surprising that, although Joe Biden was invited to the SELAC forum as a guest (but he did not come), Chinese leader Xi Jinping addressed the summit participants (albeit not in person, but with a video message), declaring full support for the integration processes in SELAC. China has long been the most important trading partner for many countries in the region, and the volume of loans is growing every year. But, in addition to American opposition, the Chinese are hindered by internal instability in the countries of the region and their dependence on international (that is, Western) financial institutions. That is why the idea of creating a common currency (sura – “south” in Spanish), expressed by the President of Brazil who returned to powerLula, is not only of regional importance. And Lula himself said this:
“If everything depended on me, we would always trade with other countries in national currencies so as not to depend on the dollar. Why not try to create a common currency for the MERCOSUR countries or for the BRICS countries ?”
Although MERCOSUR brings together only four countries in the region – although among them the two largest countries in South America (Brazil and Argentina ), an agreement on the use of a single currency in trade would be a powerful step towards moving towards a common market and gaining true financial independence. It is clear that the creation of a common (not replacing national in the countries themselves) currency, even for MERCOSUR, will take many years, and the main obstacle is the terrible financial situation of Argentina, which has survived several defaults, but without financial independence, it cannot get out of the crisis. For the first time, people started talking about a common currency in Latin America back in the late 80s, but now the global situation is different, and the understanding of the need for real action is much clearer.
Lula’s words about BRICS are not accidental: the Russian-Chinese-Indian alliance is the assembly center of the entire non-Western world, including in building a new financial system. And if now only Brazil is included in the BRICS among Latin American countries, then soon Argentina (which has already applied) may also join it – and then the issue of a common currency for Latin Americans will become even more relevant. Not only for trade with Russia and China, but in general for their trade with the whole world. Because otherwise, one can not even dream of any independent role of Latin America in the new world, and Brazil, which claims to be the leader of the region and the engine of integration, will not be easy to maintain its dominant position.
In our country, Latin America is most often remembered in connection with the global confrontation with the United States and at the same time they talk about the three countries of the region closest to us – in fact allies – Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. But even taking into account the importance of bilateral relations with them (including purely military ones), the support of Latin American integration and the participation of the region in de-dollarization, building an alternative to the Western world order, is of greater importance to us. Because this is what brings the onset of a new, post-Atlantic world order closer.