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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a unique region, with a sharply changing political and ideological orientation from a “left turn” to a “right curve", which means it is difficult to build stable and predictable international relations with the region. At the beginning of the 21st century, we witnessed a sharp increase in interest in LAC from extra-regional powers that, due to historical, cultural and geographical factors, traditionally did not have strong ties with the region.

The 2020s is a time of competitive and systemic rivalry, when the value of each individual partnership, union, or alliance is increasing. In this regard, this wave of interest in LAC is not caused by a desire to expand trade and investment presence, but by the desire of new actors in the Americas to use the region to gain greater global geopolitical influence. This book addresses the question: What role do the extra-regional actors—the US, China, the EU, and Russia—play in the new system of international relations formed in LAC at the beginning of the 21st century? Ultimately, the book opens up a new multilateral perspective on the role and place of LAC in global processes in the context of the interaction and confrontation between the worldviews of the West and the non-West.

Abstract

This article examines the main stages in the development of relations between Russia and Latin America from 2000 to 2022. The research covers the entire set of bilateral cooperation between Russia and Latin American countries, and the internal and external factors influencing their evolution. The article presents the author’s view of interstate interactions from two perspectives – the foreign policy of Russia, and the national and international objectives of leading Latin American countries. The author concludes that for Russian foreign policy in the 21st century, all the countries of this region can be divided into four conditional groups: traditional partners, ideological allies, trade partners, and low priority states. This mapping of the region can explain the peculiarities of the formation of dialogue between Moscow and Latin American countries, and the possibilities and limits of interstate and interregional cooperation.

In: Russian Politics

Abstract

The strengthening of cooperation between Russia and Venezuela has become one of the characteristics of the system of international relations at the beginning of the 21st century. The previously “unfamiliar” states showed a rapid rapprochement in less than two decades, rewriting the established paradigm that only Cuba could be considered as the Kremlin’s strategic partner in Latin America. Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, unexpectedly led to rapid positive changes in US-Venezuelan relations, once again reminding the world that these countries have historically been important trade and economic partners, which will not change quickly. This raised the Kremlin’s concerns about the impending “loss” of Venezuela. The article provides an analysis of the current state of Russia-Venezuela relations, highlighting the factors that were behind every achievement of Russia in Venezuela, with the coming to power of a left-wing government that defined itself as socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-neoliberal and anti-hegemonic. Highlighting the main areas of the ongoing interaction between Caracas and Washington, the author casts doubt on the prevailing opinion in the literature that Russia has been able to form a full-fledged and long-term strategic partnership with Venezuela.

In: Russian Politics