February 24, 2024 1:15 pm
Ecuador’s Military Agreement with the USA Sparks Crisis with Russia

Ecuador’s decision to exchange its Russian weapons for more modern military equipment from the United States has put a strain on its relationship with Russia. The government of President Daniel Noboa claims that this measure is necessary to strengthen internal security, but the Kremlin disagrees. According to Moscow, Ecuador is violating contracts made at the time of purchasing these weapons and giving in to pressure from Washington.

Ecuador’s plan to get rid of its Russian weapons began in December 2023, and in January, Noboa announced that he intended to exchange what he called “Ukrainian and Russian scrap” for $200 million in modern equipment from the US. The war artifacts that must be handed over to the US include helicopters, rocket launch systems, and anti-aircraft cannons, and according to the government, are no longer suitable for use.

Russia’s ambassador in Quito was the first to take a stand against sending Russian weapons to the United States, stating that such weapons may still be in good working order and that Ecuador could not transfer war material without Moscow’s consent. However, Russia eventually agreed to the arms exchange agreement between Ecuador and the USA.

The diplomatic tension caused by this arms exchange agreement appears to be generating negative commercial repercussions for Ecuador. In response, Russia decided to impose several measures against the import of Ecuadorian bananas, which the Ecuadorian government sees as a measure of retaliation for Noboa’s decision to hand over the weapons.

Representatives of Ecuadorian banana and flower exporters expressed their surprise and concern with Russia’s decision, confirming that their products currently comply with all quality standards required by destination markets. The revenue generated by banana exports between January and November 2023 from Ecuador reached $3.2 billion, of which $690 million came from shipments made to Russian markets. However, this situation has caused strain on relations between Ecuador and Russia.

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