Ecuador and Russia forge closer relations, sign a number of agreements

Ecuador and Russia signed a number of cooperation agreements including the establishment of an Ecuadorian-Russian Chamber of Commerce and the manufacture of vaccines and serums at the Fourth Intergovernmental Commission for Economic and Trade Cooperation between Ecuador and Russia in Quito (El Telégrafo and Sputnik, 13 October 2016). The two countries also agreed to begin work to launch a satellite into space built jointly by Ecuadorian and Russian universities. Officials also advanced joint projects in a number of other areas including the energy and information technology sectors, among others (El Telégrafo). Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ecuadorian Guillaume Long stressed the importance of Russia as a strategic partner in assisting Ecuador move toward a more diversified economy (Sputnik, 11 October 2016).

A closer relationship between Ecuador and Russia is a great example for those who argue the United Sates (U.S.) has neglected its neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ecuador’s increasingly friendly partnership with Russia is likely to draw ire from certain corners in Washington and will likely put additional strain on an already icy relationship between the U.S. and the South American country. The current U.S. administration is seeking to vilify Russia for its hacking role and providing information to WikiLeaks as well as an unwillingness to cooperate in Syria. While a number U.S. allies and client states may be backing away from Russia at this point in time, the government of Ecuador is certainly thumbing its nose at the U.S. and moving in the opposite direction.