Nogueira Batista: The Future of the NDB “Lies Largely in the Hands of Russia”

In his Oct. 3 remarks to the Valdai Club, Paulo Nogueira Batista also put into focus the strategic significance of the policy fight ongoing in Russia around the role of the Central Bank. Why was progress with both the NDB and the CRA so slow, Nogueira asked: “Having participated intensely in the two years of negotiations that led to the CRA, I can tell you that the main reason for lack of progress is the fierce resistance of our central banks, with the exception of the Chinese central bank. The Brazilian central bank is probably the worst…. Can the Russian central bank be made to understand that the CRA is now potentially even more important than when we conceived it, given the changes in the geopolitical context?”

Nogueira also attacked the personnel named to run the NDB, especially Brazil’s representative during the neo-liberal Bolsonaro administration, as well as the current Russian vice president. However, “Brazil has now sent Dilma Rousseff, a former President of Brazil, to become president of the institution. She has, however, less than two years to turn the Bank around. It’s not enough time. Thus, the future of the NDB lies largely in the hands of Russia. This is because Russia will have the opportunity to appoint a new president for five years, starting in July 2025. I trust Russia will, this time, be able to send a strong person for the job, someone of high political standing, technically sound, and with a clear view of the geopolitical purposes that led the BRICS to create the NDB.”

A major challenge he pointed to for the NDB is de-dollarization. If these problems are tackled properly, in his view, “the NDB can still become a Bank of developing countries, by developing countries and for developing countries, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln…. It is our good luck to have Russia presiding over the BRICS in 2024 and Brazil, in 2025—precisely the two countries that seem to be most interested in moving towards the creation of a common or reference currency.”

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