Ecuador’s Military Agreement with the USA Sparks Crisis with Russia

Ecuador’s Russia Relationship Tensions Over Military Weapons Exchange Plan

Ecuador is currently in a delicate position with Russia after announcing its intention to send obsolete Russian weapons to the United States in exchange for more modern military equipment. The government of President Daniel Noboa claims that this move is necessary to strengthen the country’s internal security, but Russia has accused Quito of violating contracts made with Moscow at the time of purchasing these weapons and giving in to pressure from Washington.

The idea of getting rid of Russian weapons began in December 2023, and Noboa announced for the first time in January that he planned to exchange “Ukrainian and Russian scrap” for $200 million in modern equipment from the US. The war artifacts that must be handed over include helicopters, rocket launch systems, and anti-aircraft cannons, which 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 has now decided to impose several measures against the import of Ecuadorian bananas as a measure of retaliation for Noboa’s decision to hand over the weapons.

Ecuadorian banana and flower exporters expressed their surprise and concern with Russia’s decision, confirming that their products comply with all quality standards required by destination markets. Between January and November 2023, revenue generated by banana exports from Ecuador reached $3.2 billion, with $690 million coming from shipments made to Russian markets alone. Russia currently represents around 20% of Ecuador’s export destination, and the country’s non-oil exports to Russia totaled around $841 million between January and November 2023.

This escalating situation is causing a strain on the relationship between Ecuador and Russia.

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