UPDATE 1-Chinese Xi Criticizes Sanctions ‘Abuse’, Putin Rebukes West


* Xi calls on BRICS to rise up

* Xi says Cold War mentality must end

* Putin berates the West for the export crisis

* BRICS leaders hold online meeting (adds Putin, BRICS size)

By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday criticized the “abuse” of international sanctions, while Russian President Vladimir Putin chastised the West for fomenting a global crisis, with both leaders calling for a greater BRICS cooperation.

Xi called on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to shoulder the responsibility conferred by their economic weight, and said they should uphold a truly multinational international system based on the United Nations.

“We must abandon the Cold War mentality and block confrontation and oppose unilateral sanctions – and the abuse of sanctions,” Xi told the BRICS summit through a translator.

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“Our meeting today comes at a pivotal moment for the future of mankind: as key emerging markets and developing countries, BRICS countries must shoulder our responsibility,” Xi said.

China has by far the largest economy in the BRICS group, accounting for more than 70% of the group’s $27.5 trillion collective economic power.

Putin called for stronger cooperation with the BRICS and lashed out at the West, which he accused of fomenting a crisis.

“Only on the basis of honest and mutually beneficial cooperation can we find ways out of the crisis situation that has developed in the world economy due to the reckless and selfish actions of States individuals,” Putin said.

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He accused the West of “using financial mechanisms” to “transmit its own errors of macroeconomic policy to the whole world”.

Putin has said relations with China are the best they have ever been and touts a strategic partnership with China aimed at countering US influence.

US President Joe Biden has said the West is locked in a battle with autocratic governments such as China and Russia.

The United States and European powers blame Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine as the reason relations with the West have sunk to the lowest level since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 – including toughest penalties in modern history.

But Putin says the West wants to destroy Russia, that economic sanctions amount to a declaration of economic war and that Russia will forge ties with other powers such as China and India.

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Putin, who calls the war in Ukraine a “special military operation”, accuses the United States of humiliating Russia in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and of threatening Moscow by expanding the NATO military alliance.

Russia sent troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24 to downgrade its southern neighbor’s military capabilities, root out people it calls dangerous nationalists and defend Russian speakers in two regions of eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine claims that Russia has launched an imperial-style land grab and will never cede its territory to Russia. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Jane Merriman)


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