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BRICS helping Russia bypass western sanctions – Lavrov

Moscow uses multilateral formats outside US control to work around the restrictions, the foreign minister has said

Russia and China are able to overcome the problems arising from Western sanctions by using multilateral formats, such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is on a two-day visit to China, said on Tuesday.

BRICS – which previously comprised Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – has seen a major wave of expansion. Four more countries – Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates – joined the group at the start of this year, and further additions are expected in the future.

The bloc’s political and economic influence has increased significantly since harsh restrictions were imposed on Russia by the US, EU and other Western countries following the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. None of the BRICS members have joined the Western campaign, and have continued or boosted trade with Russia.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russia’s top diplomat said his counterpart has come up with a formula for cancelling out the effect of sanctions.

“My colleague spoke in detail about specific economic gaps that emerge as a result of the illegal policy of unilateral sanctions and which we will solve within the framework of BRICS and within the SCO,” Lavrov said.

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In response to Western sanctions, Russia has been diversifying its foreign trade to the Asia-Pacific market, with China emerging as a key player. Last year, Russia-China trade surged to a record level of $240 billion, exceeding the target of $200 billion set by the two governments, according to Chinese customs data.

On Monday, during her multi-day trip to Beijing which coincided with Lavrov’s visit, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen threatened Chinese companies with “significant consequences” if they supply parts or equipment to the Russian military.

In December, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order enabling sanctions on foreign institutions that continue to deal with Russia. The regulation targets companies outside the US and EU that they believe help Russia to source sensitive items, which reportedly include semiconductors, machine tools, chemical precursors, ball bearings, and optical systems.

US-led sanctions targeting non-Russian entities are designed to prevent companies around the world from helping Moscow to circumvent Western restrictions adopted in previous packages. Moscow has criticized the sanctions policy as a whole, while noting that they have failed to destabilize the Russian economy, and have instead backfired on the countries that imposed them.

April 09, 2024 at 01:48PM
RT

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