“Russia is a priority for Argentina”, Argentine Foreign Minister told Pravda.Ru
Ahead of the celebrations for the 120th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Argentine diplomatic relations, Argentine Foreign Minister, Rafael Bielsa, told Pravda.Ru that Russia “is a priority” for this South American nation, in response to a similar statement addressed by his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, during the visit of an Argentine parliamentary delegation to Moscow last week.
Political, cultural and economical exchanges have significantly increased between both countries during the last months. Russia was of great help for Argentina to succeed with his debt swap plan, while Buenos Aires has repeatedly supported Moscow's bid to become member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In the first fourth months of the year only, top parliamentary delegations from both countries exchanged visits, as a Buenos Aires is ready to welcome Russian Prime Minister, Mikhil Fradkov by 17 May. It is not ruled out a presidential summit between Russia's Vladimir Putin and Argentina's Nestor Kirchner later this year.
But not only political ties have reaproched both nations. As Argentine Foreign Minister, Rafael Bielsa, told Pravda.Ru in Buenos Aires last week, Russia is a “key trade partner for Argentina” in its plans to become “an exporter to major markets.” According to Argentine records, trade between both nations reached over $300 million last year and it is expected to go up further in 2005.
Russia imports from Argentina meat, wine and other food products, as sends to the South American nation mainly manufactured goods. Despite the good performance, levels are far from reaching those of the Soviet era, when the bilateral exchange surpassed the $2 billion a year.
But not only politics and commerce embrace nations. Cultural exchanges are becoming more and more frequent. Last year, a delegation from the Secretary of Tourism of Argentina visited Moscow and Saint Petersburg to promote Argentine beautiful landscapes and cultural expressions, with the Tango dance at the top. At the same time, Russian dancers have found in Buenos Aires, a warm and enthusiastic public for their performances with sold out shows at city's main theaters.
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987