The “BRICS” acronym refers to an informal grouping of the five developing economies.
According to Putin, trade between Russia and the BRICS countries increased by 38% and reached $45 billion in the first three months of the year.
“Contacts between Russian business circles and the business community of the BRICS countries have intensified,” Putin said. “For example, negotiations are underground to open Indian chain stores in Russia [and to] increase the share of Chinese cars, equipment and hardware on our market.”
Putin added that Russia’s system for messaging between financial institutions is open to connecting banks from the five countries, and that Moscow is finding new ways to transact without relying on currencies such as the dollar or the euro.
“Together with BRICS partners, we are developing reliable alternative mechanisms for international settlements,” Putin said.
In his address, Putin accused the West of neglecting “the basic principles of [the] market economy” such as free trade.
“It undermines business interests on a global scale, negatively affecting the wellbeing of people, in effect, of all countries,” he said.
The BRICS summit, which is hosted by Beijing, is Putin’s first international forum with the heads of other major economies since he ordered the invasion in Ukraine in late February.
— Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.