The President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, today visited the Kremlin and told President Vladimir Putin that his country wants to end “dependency” on the US and strengthen economic ties with Russia instead.
Fernández told Putin “Argentina, in particular, is experiencing a very special situation as a result of its indebtedness and the economic situation that I had to inherit. From the 1990s onwards, Argentina has always looked towards the United States. Now, the Argentinian economy depends a lot on the debt it has with the United States, with the IMF, and the role that the US has within the IMF.”
The President added, “The context is very favorable to deepen the links between Russia and Argentina. We have to see a way for Argentina to become a gateway for Russia in Latin America”.
The visit comes directly after a draft deal with the IMF was announced and which has been regarded as a poor outcome for Argentina by leaders within the ruling party.
Fernández will also be visiting China and then Barbados, in a highly significant international tour which will disappoint the US government, which has long been trying to court Argentina.
A report by Brazil’s Folha de Sao Paulo on Wednesday revealed that the US government had urged Argentina and Brazil to not engage with Russia due to the current conflict over Ukraine.
Both countries are ignoring Washington and have scheduled in visits this week. Kremlin spokesperson Yuri Ushakov said, “With regard to the visits from Latin America, in particular, the visit of Fernández tomorrow…we are aware, we read the press, and we know of information from other sources, that the leaders of Brazil and Argentina were told to abstain from contacts with Russia. But these are large and reputable states that decide for themselves how to conduct foreign affairs, with whom to make contacts, and which countries to visit.”