FORTALEZA: Leaders of the BRICS group of emerging powers meet Tuesday to launch a new development bank and a reserve fund seen as counterweights to Western-led financial institutions.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff hosts the leaders of Russia, India, China and South Africa in Fortaleza on Tuesday before talks with South American leaders the next day in Brasilia.
The summit will mark the first face-to-face meeting between India’s new Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jiping.
For Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited Argentina and Cuba before coming to Brazil, the trip gives him a chance to hammer home his calls for a “multipolar” world amid tensions with the West over the Ukraine crisis.
“Together we should think about a system of measures that would help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the United States and their allies,” Putin told Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency.
Russia has been excluded from the G8 group of industrialized powers as punishment for its annexation of Crimea and perceived meddling in Ukraine.
The United States is threatening to impose new economic sanctions on Russia over accusations that it is backing pro-Moscow separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.