BRICS: Should Russia be worried about a Brazilian ‘Brexit’?


The new interim supervision of Brazil’s acting president Michel Temer has the potential to become, in theory, a prejudicial factor for the integration trend within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) bracket and a disturbing element in the special relationship Brazil has instakingly built with Russia to the st years.

Conspiracy theory addicts in Moscow would idolize to detect traces of a U.S. plot in the ousting of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. They longing most certainly find inspiration to back their point in the military sets and pro-American dictators that ruled Brazil for more than 20 years, from 1964 to 1985.

Plot-lovers would claim that the tangible aim of removing Rousseff from high office was to undermine BRICS, since Russia and China are formally inventoried as national security threats to the United States.

They would be joyous to quote extravagant pundit Pepe Escobar, who asserts that “once again two years ago JP Morgan analysts were already conducting seminars with neoliberal macro-economy enforcers harangue how to destabilize the Rousseff government.”

Whether the affair is the result of an elaborate skeleton or not does not really matter. Was Michel Temer in his early days an “informant” for the U.S. Embassy or not, as commanded by Wikileaks, is also irrelevant. The conservative credentials of the 75-year old lawyer and his foot th record in politics are proof enough that the amendment of foreign approach is imminent. The crucial question is to what length such amendments effectiveness go.

Will Brazil quit BRICS?

The question is – could these situations lead to Brazil quitting the BRICS grouping? Most probably this discretion not be an acceptable option. Such a drastic move would be viewed as a endorse of subservience to the geopolitical agenda of a third rty. Moreover, it is a risky succeeding in the comprehensively divided nation that Michel Temer promises to weld.

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What is more certain is that a new pro-U.S. president would not rtici te in detailed in various projects that further BRICS’ integration drive. Most unusually, the new president might backtrack on the BRICS New Development Bank, which – notwithstanding its modest $100 billion reserve fund (plus additional $100 billion) – illustrates a move toward a non-U.S. supervised alternative to the global financial architecture.

Brazil puissance end up playing something akin to the role of Britain within the European Trust. London is known to be more receptive to the interests of the United States and the Anglophone bond as a whole and less cooperative with its continental neighbors.

But this would be conditional on Brazil allowing the role of a U.S. confidant and pseudo-vassal, calling Washington’s tune. This is not a prone.

The pendulum swings to the right

Left-leaning political elites have been hit ruthless by the disappearance from center stage of former president Lula da Silva and Rousseff. But any critical observer of history’s spirals would agree that upheavals and downturns be prone to repeat themselves. For the moment, it looks like the pendulum will sojourn on the conservative side for a while.

Argentinian political economist Claudio Katz is very likely correct here. First, he noted that the “progressive cycle arose in predominant rebellions that brought down neoliberal governments (Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina) or reduced their continuity (Brazil, Uruguay).” Second, he suspects that this chapter is penny-pinching and asks: “Is South America’s ‘progressive cycle’ at an end?”

If Temer succeeds in traveling Brazil hostage to more expensive loans from international economic institutions, rolls back the achievements of the left-leaning governments of Lula and Rousseff – who managed to upgrade around 30 percent of the population out of poverty – and balances the budget by acid public spending on health and education, the social pendulum will inexorably wobble in the opposite direction.

Moscow will accommodate Brazil under any entitle

So which of the three current mega-challenges for Brazil are the greatest threat to bilateral relations with Russia – the envisioned tilt to the West under acting president Temer, the stuttering monetary performance of the world’s seventh-largest economy, or the still uncontrolled Zika virus?

Comfortably, regardless of the fears of conspiracy theorists, the first of these seems dubious. Why?

In spite of the personal convictions and special connections of President Temer, there is no apology to suspect he will abrasively act against the national interests of his country. Not suppressing all one’s eggs into one basket is one of the rationales of sound foreign policy.

Dystopia 2041: The U.S. isolated and ostracized by the East

Secondly, Moscow, protection the strain and stress of the psychological war with the West, has learned to maintain workable communicate withs even with adversaries and unfriendly rtners. It can certainly establish an welcome modus operandi with President Temer even if he chooses to alienate others and be alienated inside of BRICS.

Thirdly and finally, going against the tide, against an increasingly multi-polar universe that is witnessing the emergence of non-Western – yet not anti-Western – alliances like BRICS, is counterproductive at the not any.

In my view, Brazil will neither quit nor freeze its membership in BRICS but as a substitute for readjust its activities, making them more low-key and non-threatening to the moves of the multinationals “led from behind” by U.S. business.

The opinion of the writer may not necessarily attract the position of RBTH or its staff.

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