Russia and Argentina: New Horizons

The mutual attraction existing between Argentina and Russia rests on a firm basis and embraces all key spheres of interstate cooperation — economy and trade, politics and diplomacy, military technical cooperation, and scientific, cultural and humanitarian ties.

President Christina Fernández de Kirchner’s visit to Russia in the year marking the 130th anniversary of Russian-Argentinian diplomatic relations made it possible to continue the joint project that began in 2014 when President Vladimir Putin visited Argentina, and became an important stage in efforts to form a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. This conclusion has profound implications and has been dictated by a number of significant long-term factors.

First, the mutual attraction existing between Argentina and Russia rests on a firm basis and embraces all key spheres of interstate cooperation — economy and trade, politics and diplomacy, military technical cooperation, and scientific, cultural and humanitarian ties.

Second, it is of fundamental importance that Russia and Argentina have mutually complementary economies — with one country producing and exporting the commodities that the other country imports, and vice versa. This is an objective prerequisite for stable and large-scale economic cooperation.

Third, internationally, the countries share many interests, approaches and positions. Most importantly, Moscow and Buenos Aires are against hegemony in world affairs and for a multipolar world order based on equality, mutual benefit and shared security.

The results of the Argentinian President’s visit and her talks with Putin confirmed the fairness of such an assessment and led to policies in the context of the Russian-Argentinian strategic partnership. In Moscow, the sides signed two dozen documents spanning the entire range of bilateral relations — plans for political consultations and bilateral trade and economic contacts, agreements on Russian companies building hydropower and nuclear power plants in Argentina, memorandums on cooperation in the power industry, agriculture, manufacturing industry and the banking sphere, and programs promoting mutual tourism and cultural contacts. The defense ministries of the two countries reached significant agreements, while their business communities were oriented towards investment projects envisaging, among other things, the establishment of joint ventures to produce hi-tech power equipment that is critically needed by the Argentinian economy.

Military and technical cooperation holds out much promise as well. The Argentinian armed forces are in dire need of modern weapons and military equipment, and more advanced production and maintenance infrastructure. Recently purchased Russian-made equipment, including aircraft and corvettes, has stood the test and proved itself well, thus opening the way for new contracts.

Politically, the rapprochement between Moscow and Buenos Aires is facilitated by the fact that both countries have territorial disputes with other states — Russia with Ukraine over Crimea and Argentina with the UK over the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands. Both sides obviously require international recognition of their positions and have exchanged indicative diplomatic demarches. The Argentinian delegation in the UN voted for Russia’s draft resolution 2202 on Ukraine, while the Russian President expressed support for Buenos Aires’ striving for bilateral talks with London to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Malvinas dispute.

As it promotes strategic partnership with Argentina, the Russian leadership takes into account geopolitical shifts that occurred in Latin America in recent years, in which Buenos Aires played an important role. I am referring to the powerful buildup and diversification of Latin American countries’ external ties, their increasingly independent line in world affairs, and their active participation in establishing global regulatory mechanisms, such as those within the G20.

Without a doubt, Russia, which maintains diplomatic relations with all 33 states in the region, cannot stay on the sidelines of this process and hopes to have more room for international political maneuvering and strengthening its negotiating position as it develops contacts with Latin America.

Buenos Aires clearly expresses its desire to join BRICS, which should not be disregarded. But this is a complicated issue as new members are accepted by consensus by all BRICS members. However, objectively speaking, Argentina is one of the most likely candidates as it maintains high-level ties with all BRICS members. No other developing country can boast similar progress.

In conclusion, we can say that the implementation of the Moscow agreements will take Russian-Argentinian cooperation to a higher level, bring both sides tangible economic dividends and strengthen their international positions. Specifically, the growth of bilateral trade exposed to situational vacillations will stabilize. Moreover, finally, cooperation between Russia and Argentina has a wider diagnostic significance as it shows to the world that Russian-Argentinian relations can be of a multifaceted and mutually beneficial nature and facilitate the solution of a number of Latin America’s key developmental problems.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.