Russia asks Brazil for help to avoid being expelled from the IMF and World Bank

(CNN) –– Russia has asked Brazil for support at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G20 group of major economies to help it counter Western sanctions imposed on it since it invaded Ukraine, according to a letter read by Reuters.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov wrote to Economy Minister Paulo Guedes asking for “Brazil’s support to prevent political accusations and attempts at discrimination in international financial institutions and multilateral forums.”

“Behind the scenes, there is an effort in the IMF and World Bank to limit or even expel Russia from the decision-making process,” Siluanov wrote.

The letter, which does not mention the war in Ukraine, is dated March 30. It was transmitted to the Brazilian minister by the Russian ambassador in Brasilia on Wednesday.

“As you know, Russia is going through a challenging period of economic and financial turmoil due to the sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies,” the Russian minister said.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that the US would not participate in any G20 meeting if Russia was present, citing invasion.

Almost half of Russia’s international reserves have been frozen and foreign trade transactions are blocked, including those with its partners from emerging market economies, Siluanov said.

russia brazil

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov before President Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow in January 2020.

“The United States and its satellites pursue a policy of isolating Russia from the international community,” he added.

Siluanov said the sanctions violate the principles of the Bretton Woods agreements, which established the IMF and the World Bank.

“We consider that the current crisis caused by the unprecedented economic sanctions, promoted by the G7 countries, could have lasting consequences unless we take joint measures to solve it,” he wrote to Guedes.

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, visited Moscow just days before the invasion. And he has kept Brazil neutral in the Ukraine crisis. In that sense, he has not condemned the invasion, which drew criticism from the Biden administration.

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Bolsonaro expressed “solidarity” when he visited Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on February 16. About a week before the invasion began.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca has said that Brazil opposes the expulsion of Russia from the G20 that the United States is seeking.

“The most important thing at this time is to have all international forums, the G20, the WTO, the FAO, fully functioning. And for that all countries must be present, including Russia,” Franca said at a Senate hearing on 25 of March.

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