Russian FM Sergey Lavrov Is Visiting Cuba

Canciller de Rusia Sergei Lavrov llegó a La Habana

HAVANA, Apr. 16th, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, announced on Thursday that he will carry out a Latin American tour in the second half of April that will take him to Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, the Kremlin’s main allies in the region.

“We advocate for strengthening Russian-Latin American cooperation on the basis of mutual support, solidarity and our interests,” Lavrov wrote in two articles published by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo and the Mexican magazine Buzos de la Noticia.

In his articles, reproduced by the Russian Foreign Ministry on its website, he highlighted, in particular, the strategic relationship with Brasilia, Caracas, Havana and Managua.

“The rapidly changing geopolitical landscape opens up new possibilities for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Latin American countries. The latter play an increasingly prominent role in the multipolar world,” he stressed.

Lavrov insists that Moscow does not want Latin America and the Caribbean to become a source of discord between the powers, since it bases its foreign policy not on ideology, as was the case with the Soviet Union, but on pragmatism.

As an example, he highlighted that, despite sanctions and political pressures, Russian exports to the region increased by 3.8%, while wheat supplies increased by 48.8%.

Lavrov highlighted that at the moment 27 Latin American countries have signed visa-free agreements with Russia, in addition to the fact that the number of Latin American students studying in higher education centers in Russia has skyrocketed.

The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, showed Putin his support in his confrontation with the West by visiting Russia in December 2022, and he also condemned the arrest warrant issued against the head of the Kremlin by the International Criminal Court.

Recently, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, and the head of the largest Russian oil company, Igor Sechin, traveled to the Island.

At the beginning of the month, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to Moscow upon receiving a visit from the special adviser for International Affairs of the Brazilian Presidency, Celso Amorim.

Subsequently, Lula said that during his visit to Beijing, he will propose to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to promote dialogue to restore peace between Russia and Ukraine.

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, offered Putin “all my support” since the beginning of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine in February 2022.

On March 14, Russia and Venezuela celebrated the 78th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, ties that were strengthened with the arrival of the so-called Bolivarian revolution in 1999.

At the end of March, the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Denis Moncada, met with Lavrov and defended Moscow’s right to guarantee its “integrity and security.”

Lavrov also decorated Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of the Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, with the Order of Friendship.

In the new Russian foreign policy, marked by the growing political, military and economic antagonism toward the West over Ukraine, Latin America is one of the priority regions.

In that sense, Lavrov’s tour is part of Lavrov’s recent trips to  twenty countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, from the Maghreb to the Sahel and the south.