According to the head of the southern command, Moscow and Beijing actively struggling for influence in the region
WASHINGTON – the United States and its allies are concerned that Russia and China actively developing relations with the countries of South and Central America in an attempt to reshape the existing world order.
“We can’t pay attention only to what they do in Europe or in the South China sea, warns the head of the U.S. southern command Admiral Kurt Tidd. Right here, much closer to home, too, there is competition. It is a struggle for influence and the most important thing to can do is to fight ourselves.”
Russia in recent years more and more aggressively increasing its military presence, sending ships to the region and developing intelligence platform and the operation-representatives of the authorities.
Moscow is also seeking to restore or strengthen military ties with its former allies in the region, selling them advanced weaponry, such as military aircraft and air defence systems.
“Most Russian military equipment went to Venezuela, which has purchased a number of high-tech systems that the situation in the region clearly requires,” notes of Tid.
As noted in the southern command, another beneficiary of Russian efforts – Nicaragua, recently received upgraded tanks.
Russia refers to other countries that want to modernize or enhance its defense capabilities, often luring their reduced prices.
In January, during the visit of the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri in Moscow, the two countries signed a Protocol of intent regarding the development of uranium production in Argentina. Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered to sell the country rocket engines.
Russia has signed a number of deals with Brazil, which last year purchased the Russian-made MANPADS and expressed interest in anti-aircraft missile complex “Pantsir”.
In this case, the US authorities also accuse Russia of waging a campaign of influence to obtain advantage in the region. In one case this led to the collapse of a possible sale of American armored vehicles in Peru.
“From Russia received some very unfavorable propaganda, negatively the opportunities of the American armored vehicles Stryker – said Tidd. – And then they presented their updated armored personnel carriers at a lower price”.
According to the expert for Latin America Paulo Gregoire, one of the reasons of Russia’s success lies in the fact that countries in the region lack the necessary funds for the purchase of military equipment, which they had a few years ago.
However, this does not mean that Russia has no other advantages.
“Governments in Latin America like to do business with other governments directly and to solve all at the state level,” said Gregoire, adding that Russia and China do easier.