Putin has agreed on a new collaboration with Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua
Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to develop partnerships in a range of areas, including stepping up military collaboration, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced.
Speaking on Wednesday in an appearance in front of the Duma - Russia's parliament - Lavrov reported that Putin had talked recently with the leaders of the three Central American countries, and that they had agreed to work together to strengthen their strategic cooperation.
"President Putin held recent telephone conversations with his colleagues from these three governments, with whom we are very close and friendly, and they agreed to look at further ways to deepen our strategic partnership in all areas, with no exceptions," Lavrov stated. He noted that Russia already has close relations with these countries in many spheres, "including military and military-technical."
Asked about the prospects of increased military cooperation with the three countries, Lavrov answered, "for the immediate future, we are counting on regular meetings of the corresponding committees."
Earlier this month, Moscow's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov was asked about the possibility of sending troops to Latin America, and he refused to rule out the possibility. "It's the American style to have several options for its foreign and military policy," he said. "That's the cornerstone of that country's powerful influence in the world."
"The president of Russia has spoken multiple times on the subject of what the measures could be, for example involving the Russian Navy, if things are set on the course of provoking Russia, and further increasing the military pressure on us by the US," he went on. "We don't want that. The diplomats must come to an agreement."
United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan responded, noting that Russian military activity in Latin America had not been a point of discussion at recent security talks, but said that the US would act "decisively" if it did happen
Leaders from Russia and the US have been holding negotiations recently to attempt to de-escalate the situation around Ukraine, which Washington has accused Moscow of planning to invade. The Kremlin has denied that it has any aggressive intentions and has asked for written guarantees that NATO, the US-led military bloc, will not expand to Ukraine or Georgia, two countries that share borders with Russia.