In the face of regular Russian disinformation and influence campaigns in South America, Argentina’s new leader, Javier Milei, has said he will distance the country from Russia. In The New York Sun, James Brooke discusses the future relationship between Argentina and Russia, writing:
“Russia’s disinformation campaigns in Latin America, which have been active since early in Vladimir Putin’s presidency, increased around Russia’s 2014 and 2022 invasions of Ukraine,” reads Mr. Farah’s report, written for the United States Institute of Peace. “Their effect can be seen in shifting public opinion and in the reluctance of Latin American countries to provide matériel to Ukraine or to participate in sanctions on Russia.”
Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies concludes that as the region “desperately seeks to remain neutral, Russia will continue to chip away at the United States’ sphere of influence in Latin America, and the Ukrainian people will suffer the consequences.” The observation is made in a report that describes the region as a “Hesitant Hemisphere.”
During Argentina’s presidential campaign, Mr. Milei said Argentina should distance itself from Russia and back Ukraine. About 400,000 Argentines are of Ukrainian origin. But Argentina, an agricultural powerhouse, is increasingly dependent on imported oil and nitrate fertilizer from Russia. Challenged to revive Argentina’s sputtering economy, Mr. Milei may tone down the anti-Russian rhetoric after his inauguration on December 10.
Three weeks later, on January 1, Argentina is to join the expanded group of BRICS, or Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. To promote Argentina’s candidacy, President Fernández visited Moscow in February last year and met with President Putin. Three weeks later, Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine.
Yesterday in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a telephone call: “We noted a number of statements that Mr. Milei made during the election campaign. But we will focus on and judge him mainly by the statements that he makes after the inauguration.”
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