Even as Western countries and Japan continue the suspension of their 16-year collaboration with Russia in the G8, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday evening hosted a different group: leaders of the BRICS bloc of powerful emerging economies.
Leaders from Brazil, India, China and South Africa were feted at an informal dinner by Putin in the Russian city of Ufa.
The group will meet for formal talks tomorrow where they will brandish a New Development Bank and a $100 billion monetary fund.
“The BRICS leaders will discuss political coordination and global governance, ensuring sustainable development, and expanding cooperation between the member countries,” said an official Russian statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, the five leaders held a flurry of bilateral meetings. Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to boost efforts to integrate projects in the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese “One Belt One Road” initiative.
Putin is slated to attend events in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II in September this year.
While Washington has been at pains to establish the isolation of Moscow over the Ukraine conflict, the BRICS Summit this week will further demonstrate the inability of the US to continue policing the world.
Earlier this year, the US failed to stop many western allies from joining the $100 billion China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The AIIB will fund infrastructure projects in the Asian region which hosts six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies this year and a growing middle class.
With increasingly chilly ties with Europe, Russia is banking on better economic links with Asian countries.