MOSCOW will continue supporting efforts to strengthen the global role of Latin America and individual countries in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
‘We are all witnessing tectonic transformations pertaining to the ongoing formation of a fairer multipolar world,’ Lavrov noted in a message to participants in the Sixth International Forum titled ‘Russia and Ibero-America in a Turbulent World: History and Perspectives,’ being hosted by St Petersburg State University.
‘There is no doubt that Latin America will gain a prominent place in the updated global architecture. Russia will continue supporting efforts to increase the global role of both individual countries in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin and of the region as a whole,’ he added.
Lavrov pointed out that Russia welcomed the desire of its Latin American friends to take the process of resolving issues into their own hands. ‘I am confident that the forum will make a significant contribution to enhancing confidence and mutual understanding between our nations,’ the top Russian diplomat stressed.
Meanwhile, a more vigorous transition to payments in national currencies between Russia and Latin American countries will forge the trend towards growth of mutual trade turnover, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.
‘The trade turnover between Russia and Latin America has gained a quarter of the last five years,’ the senior diplomat said. ‘To nail down this trend, a more vigorous transition to national currencies in mutual payments, alternative channels of banking cooperation, and new logistical chains will be required in current conditions,’ Ryabkov noted.
The increase in Russian exports is particularly high over the relevant period and is about 130% for such commodities as wheat, fertilisers and petroleum products, the high-ranking diplomat added.
Moscow continues to expand its relations with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean Basin despite obstacles created by the West, Ryabkov affirmed.
‘Our relations with the countries of the region continue to progress despite the difficult geopolitical environment and the obstacles that the collective West is creating. They are progressing, reaching new heights in a number of fields,’ Ryabkov noted at the plenary session of the Sixth International Forum.
According to him, Russia has reached a new level of strategic partnership with a number of countries in the region.
‘We actively cooperate both at the bilateral level and on multilateral platforms,’ he pointed out. ‘We are ready to work closely on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the Group of 20 and BRICS, as well as with integration associations in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States,’ Ryabkov added.
The senior diplomat also emphasised that Russia would facilitate efforts to build ties between the region and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
The BRICS member states intend to agree on a list of candidates for the group’s partner countries by its next summit, which is scheduled to be held in 2024 under Russia’s chairmanship in Kazan, Tatarstan, Ryabkov said.
‘In order to implement the decisions made at the (Johannesburg) summit, work is underway on the modality for a new category of partner countries, whose status is supposed to be similar to that of full-fledged members. The list of potential candidates is expected to be agreed on by the next BRICS summit in Kazan in October next year.
‘We don’t rule out that the list will include, in particular, a number of Latin American countries,’ Ryabkov pointed out at the plenary session of the Sixth International Forum at St Petersburg State University.
The senior diplomat noted that Russia welcomed the decision to invite Argentina to join the BRICS and the desire of the countries of the region to join the group’s activities.
‘We hope that this step will serve to expand our ties with the region and strengthen the strategic partnership between our countries. A number of Latin American nations have shown an interest in building contacts with the BRICS,’ Ryabkov stressed.
According to the Russian deputy foreign minister, Moscow’s BRICS chairmanship in 2024 will pay special attention to expanding ‘the circle of BRICS friends,’ including in Latin America. ‘It is fully in line with the motto for Russia’s BRICS year, which reads as follows: ‘Strengthening Multilateralism for Justice in Global Development and Security,’ he added.
- Last Monday, Jorge Rodriguez, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, demanded an end to unilateral US sanctions as part of the progress toward a multipolar world.
This call came during the Russia-Latin America Parliamentary Conference in Moscow, where he underscored the potential strength of Latin American legislatures in identifying common ground to combat unilateral coercive measures, which are assaults on nations.
‘The era of the world’s policeman has passed. The times of hegemony are no longer conceivable in the 21st century for humanity,’ Rodriguez emphasised.
The Bolivarian lawmaker stated that nations are growing stronger in pursuit of a multipolar world and the establishment of an international order based on independence of judgment.
He also stressed that the so-called ‘sanctions’ are, in reality, unconventional warfare measures, describing them as ‘a true scourge against humanity and real bombs that not only claim lives but also undermine the well-being that a people have worked hard to create’.
He characterised unilateral sanctions as a new ‘plague’ for humanity, affecting the well-being of peoples, the right to public health, access to technology, and development.
They attack the right to healthcare, technology, development, nutrition, culture, and education.’
Currently, 30 countries are experiencing the enforcement of 26,162 arbitrary sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. This policy affects 28% of the world population.
Venezuela has fallen victim to over 900 unilateral coercive measures, Rodriguez recalled, explaining that these sanctions have targeted ‘the lifeblood of our economy and the well-being we have staunchly defended for our people’.
‘Sanctions have caused considerable harm, but they have not achieved their goal. Venezuela has resisted, continues to resist, and will persevere in triumphing over this assault on our people’s lives,’ Rodriguez stressed.
Last Monday, Russian and Latin American lawmakers condemned the unilateral sanctions imposed by the West on around thirty countries.
‘We categorically oppose sanctions, any illegitimate unilateral restrictions that violate international law and international trade norms,’ Russian Senate President Valentina Matviyenko, said during the First Russia-Latin America International Parliamentary Conference.
The Russian parliamentarian called for ‘uniting our efforts in international parliamentary spaces to combat this illegal practice’.
The senator pointed out that Cuba has been ‘under blockade for over 60 years’ and deemed it ‘unacceptable that in the 21st century, a country extends its jurisdiction to other sovereign states and compels them to support specific sanctions’.
‘I believe it’s time for the international community to strongly assert before the United Nations and other international organisations the inadmissibility of any unilateral sanctions, so they are condemned and prohibited, as these sanctions are against the people,’ she affirmed.
The President of the People’s Assembly of Cuba, Esteban Lazo, highlighted the ‘unprecedented intensification’ of the US economic and financial blockade against his country, with 243 new measures imposed by US President Donald Trump and maintained by the Joe Biden administration.
He deemed the inclusion of Cuba on the ‘illegal’ list of state sponsors of terrorism as ‘especially cruel and politically motivated,’ severely hampering the country’s financial transactions.
Lazo pointed out that Cuba not only does not sponsor terrorism but has, in fact, been the victim of such attacks on multiple occasions, many of which were organised within US territory.
Nicaragua’s Presidential Advisor for International Cooperation, Laureano Ortega Murillo, took the opportunity to note that cooperation between Moscow and Managua is entirely different from the ‘cooperation model imposed by the US, Canada, and their European allies’.
According to Ortega, these countries condition cooperation on the imposition of their ideology, their terms, and their ‘selfish interests’. He accused the US, Canada, and Europe of employing ‘illegal sanctions’ that constitute an assault on the sovereignty of countries that do not submit to their mandates.
He pointed out that, despite pressure from the West, Nicaragua continues to deepen its relations with Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and Bolivia, ‘so as not to depend’ on the United States or Europe and to have financial mechanisms immune to Western ‘blackmail and economic terrorism’.
Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the conference welcoming Latin American countries to join the BRICS group, which includes Brazil and will include Argentina in 2024.