Home » Ecuador’s diplomatic error regarding the exchange of Russian weapons could affect other agreements with the United States

Ecuador’s diplomatic error regarding the exchange of Russian weapons could affect other agreements with the United States

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Ecuador’s diplomatic error regarding the exchange of Russian weapons could affect other agreements with the United States

Ecuador Abandons Plan to Send Russian Weapons to US

After weeks of controversy and diplomatic tension, Ecuador has officially announced that it will not be sending Russian weapons to the United States. The decision was confirmed by the Ecuadorian Chancellor, Gabriela Sommerfeld, during her appearance before the Transparency and Citizen Participation Commission on February 19. This comes after President Daniel Noboa had previously announced plans to exchange war material of Russian origin for equipment and support from the Biden administration to combat organized crime.

The announcement of the initial plan had sparked backlash from the Kremlin, which imposed trade sanctions on five Ecuadorian banana exporters. This move was seen as a response to President Noboa’s description of the Russian weapons equipment as “scrap metal.”

Despite the controversy, Minister Sommerfeld stated that she has not received any official document classifying the weapons of Soviet origin as scrap metal. She also clarified that the Foreign Ministry does not have jurisdiction over the handling of military equipment, implying that there was no need for a technical report on the matter.

Last Friday, Russia announced that Ecuador would be backing out of the weapon exchange deal, and subsequently lifted restrictions on banana imports. This move indicates a potential easing of tensions between the two countries.

Ecuador has been working to strengthen its relationship with the United States, as evidenced by a high-level delegation’s visit to Quito and the ratification of cooperation agreements on security matters. However, the failed weapon exchange could potentially complicate ongoing issues between the two countries, such as Ecuadorian migrants’ access to temporary protection status in the US.

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Internationalist and former foreign minister of Ecuador, Francisco Carrión, criticized the handling of the situation, calling it a “monumental mistake” for Ecuadorian diplomacy. He also emphasized the importance of consulting with Russia before making decisions regarding the weapons’ transfer, given their origin.

The recent developments highlight the complexities and challenges that Ecuador faces in its foreign policy, particularly in balancing its relationships with major international powers.

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