By Mary Webber
Russian President Vladimir Putin described Colombia as a “promising partner of Russia in Latin America,” adding that his country is interested in maintaining friendly relations with Colombians.
Citing state media RT, CNN reported that Putin expressed his commitment to the government of Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro during an event on Tuesday at the Kremlin Palace in which new ambassadors from several countries presented their credentials.
Putin said he shares Petro’s constructive approach to “intensifying relations in the areas of trade, energy, infrastructure, science and technology, education, and culture.” The Russian president made the remarks as he received new Colombia’s ambassador, Hector Isidro Arenas Neira.
Putin noted that Russia will continue to support the international community’s efforts to “resolve the post-conflict” in Colombia” to maintain peace and national harmony in this country, “guaranteeing regional security and stability.”
Putin earlier congratulated Petro for winning Colombia’s presidential election last June. According to Prensa Latina, Putin noted that Russian-Colombian relations “traditionally have a friendly character.”
“I hope, that your work as the head of state will contribute to the further development of mutually advantageous bilateral cooperation ties in different fields,” the Russian president said.
Vladimir Putin had also wished Gustavo Petro success and good health.
Colombia as Ally of United States
U.S. President Joe Biden announced in March that he will name Colombia as a major non-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally. According to Los Angeles Times, it was a significant recognition as the U.S. tried to undercut Putin’s influence in Latin America after invading Ukraine.
Other Latin American countries that received the same status were Argentina and Brazil, which were also not part of NATO. The special status signals a very close relationship between the U.S. and these countries.
The State Department said the designation provides Colombia with some trade benefits and boosts opportunities for security cooperation between the two countries, including the Latin American nation’s potential eligibility to purchase depleted uranium ammunition.
Biden made the announcement during the administration of former Colombian President Ivan Duque. Biden had a meeting with Duque at the White House last March.
Biden said Colombia “is a keystone” to their shared efforts to create a “prosperous, secure and democratic” hemisphere. Colombia has long been a close ally of the U.S. At the White House, Duque condemned Putin for invading Ukraine, describing it as a “very horrifying moment for the world.” He added that “nothing justifies the bloodbath.”
During their meeting, Biden and Duque discussed topics such as COVID-19 and migration. The two presidents said at the time that they would work toward a regional declaration on migration and protection at the Summit of the Americas, which took place in June in Los Angeles.
Vladimir Putin of Russia Looks at Latin America Amid Ukraine War
Vladimir Putin received the credentials of the new ambassadors of Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, and several countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania on Tuesday. Putin noted that Venezuela was Russia’s “strategic partner and reliable ally in Latin America and globally.”
It was the first ceremony of this nature since Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Putin has been trying to expand Russia’s influence in Latin America, having spoken to Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega, for the first time since 2014 earlier this year.
The New York Times reported that the Russian president has also called the leaders of Venezuela and Cuba. During a Kremlin visit, Putin also hosted the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, who vowed to reduce his country’s reliance on the U.S.
Putin had also gotten in touch with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. The Brazilian president even flew to Moscow despite opposition from American officials who urged him to postpone the trip.
Professor at Icesi University in Cali, Colombia, Vladimir Rouvinski, said that Vladimir Putin sees Latin America “as still an important area” for the U.S.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Colombia Swears In Gustavo Petro As First-Ever Leftist President – From NBC News
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