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Russia – Latin America

16 June 2022
Россия и Латинская Америка

Key conclusions


Latin American countries are refocusing on cooperation with Russia and Asia


“Latin America must recalibrate and make a strategic turn towards the East and Asia. We are an important exporter of basic foods, and, in addition to currency, this is what has the most impact on trade exchanges. <...> The Russian Federation must take a big step towards increasing investment in Latin America, because today the level of investment in Latin American industry is very low, and this opens up vast growth opportunities for all of us,” Ivan Acosta Montalvan, Minister of Finance and Public Credit of the Republic of Nicaragua.


“There is a large number of memorandums of cooperation between us and many regional economic associations in Latin America. A lot is still to be done, and this work should result in a new reality. The world is in transition to a new global economic order, but its core has already been formed – it is Southeast Asia. <...> Of course, Latin American countries need to take part in the formation of this new core of the global economy,” Sergey Glazyev, Member of the Board, Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission. 


International economic cooperation should not be defined by political agenda


“Bridges are being burnt between us and Europe. <...> We must raise the voice of Latin America, appeal to the UN, suggest reforms in order to campaign against the policies of the European Union,” Daniel Ortega Reyes, President, Central American Parliament (PARLACEN).


“For Latin America, our relations with other countries it is only one of the components. At the same time, we see that what matters to Latin Americans is their own approach based on equal mutually beneficial relationships. In this regard the promotion of contacts between Russia and Latin America is crucial. We are not trying to impose any political schemes on Latin Americans or put them in a dilemma about who to stick with. It is important for us to build relations based on pragmatism, economic complementarity, and mutual benefit,” Alexander Shchetinin, Director of the Latin American Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.




Supply chain interruptions pose a threat to food security


“For Russian producers of mineral fertilizers, Brazil is one of the core markets; Russia supplies around 10 million tonnes to Brazil. <...> The main challenge is to maintain uninterrupted supplies to Brazil and to ensure food security of the countries. Currently there are very few vessel owners who are willing to enter Russian ports and then ship fertilizers around the world. Greece and Turkey are the two principal countries that ship to Brazil, and Latin America in general. Supply chains and supply guarantees are being broken, producers are facing overstocking in ports, and all this results in food insecurity,” Mikhail Sterkin, Marketing and Development Director, PhosAgro. 


“The trade ties are now being cut. Latin America is an important producer of food and other products. We are talking about the global problem, the beginning of a food crisis. <...>There are around 700 million people living on our continent, the ‘Continent of Hope’, as we have called it, but for some reason it is not open enough to the world. <…> We need to create inclusive conditions for open trade,” Ivan Acosta Montalvan, Minister of Finance and Public Credit of the Republic of Nicaragua. 


Lack of guarantees and risk of sanctions 


“There is a high risk of secondary sanctions against our foreign partners involved in project implementation, among them are banks, logistics and insurance companies. In these conditions, we, who are implementing specific business projects in Latin America, are interested in finding, developing and applying new non-standard conditions aligned with the current realities for the aforementioned implementation of bilateral projects. Above all, when searching for new payment options. We know that a number of our scientific and financial centres <...> are working on this,” Sergey Goreslavsky, General Director, Infotechspektr (Rostec Group of Companies). 


“The regulator should be able to create conditions for public-private partnership and to form such intergovernmental agreements that would guarantee a return on investment. We would like to have some kind of protection guarantees for such investments, especially under the current volatile circumstances,” Vladimir Ilyanin, Deputy Director for Government Relations and International Cooperation, Gazprom EP International BV. 




Creation of a new global currency will help avoid further losses


“We need to create a new currency basket. We have already switched to settlements in national currencies. This process is not easy in terms of pricing, because when there are many countries and each sets prices in its own currency, it is very difficult to find an equivalent. <...> We need to create a new global settlement currency in order to avoid further losses due to sanctions and to ensure the fast transition to a new monetary and financial system based on international law,” Sergey Glazyev, Member of the Board, Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission.


“We need to create inclusive conditions for open trade and to look for a new currency. For example, BRICS might create a new payment method, it is currently being discussed,” Ivan Acosta Montalvan, Minister of Finance and Public Credit of the Republic of Nicaragua.


Cooperation in technological development will help strengthen mutual trust


“Over the past five years we have been cooperating with Russia in cutting-edge technologies, we exchanged students and interns, <...> we have worked with the most advanced companies and relied largely on the experience of our Russian colleagues. <…> As for the commerce, it is about developing the culture of our production, our science, raising the level of education of our personnel, and this should be mutual. We need to follow the basic principle of trading, which is a clearer system of market state indicators that would be developed based on modern technologies. This will allow us to avoid many of the conflicts that are now arising in business. We do not have enough knowledge about each other; this is perhaps our most important challenge,” Rodrigo Quevedo, Director General, Robotics Lab.


“Trust can also be built in technology, and it might be a good place to start. For these purposes the Government of the Russian Federation, by order of the President [Vladimir Putin — Ed.], established the International Fund for Technical Development, among other things, to finance projects outside the Russian Federation. One of our priority focuses is the countries of Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean. I believe that such cooperation will actually lead to that very trust, it is through technology that we will be able to strengthen it,” Vadim Kulikov, Engineer, Director, International Fund for Technological Development. 


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