Nicaragua broke relations with the Netherlands

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua announced the immediate severance of diplomatic relations with the Netherlands in connection with the kingdom’s intervention in the country’s internal affairs

“Ministry of External Relations of the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity of Nicaragua, in connection with the consistent interventionist and neo-colonialist position of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which has insulted and continues to insult Nicaraguan families with threats and the cancellation of public works such as hospitals in the communities of indigenous people informs the government of the Nederlands about our decision to terminate diplomatic relations immediately.

The constant attacks on the mission, contrary to diplomacy and violating the Vienna Convention, by this neo-colonial and pro-imperial government are forcing us to take this measure <…> We know the Empires and the Colonizers of the Earth, and nothing and no one can make us forget their crimes against humanity,” – Nicaragua’s foreign ministry said in a communiqué

The text of the statement distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua

EU diplomatic mission also asked to leave

On Wednesday, local publications, citing sources, reported that the Nicaraguan Foreign Ministry verbally notified the head of the EU diplomatic mission in the country, Bettina Mushaidt, that her presence in the country was undesirable due to disrespect for the sovereignty of the country

Earlier, Hugo Rodriguez, a candidate for the post of Ambassador to the United States, did not receive a work permit in Nicaragua. At a congressional hearing in July, he called Nicaragua a rogue state, compared the current government to the Dominican dictatorship of the 1950s, and said he would “work with international partners to return to democracy, respect for human rights, and free political prisoners,” after which his candidacy was rejected.

The Netherlands’ position

Regrettably, Nicaragua has chosen to respond in this disproportionate way to a critical message about democracy and human rights. The Netherlands has a clear position about Nicaragua’s deterioration of democratic institutions and human rights violations. Still, it is always willing to engage in dialogue about these issues, which Ambassador Pirenne did again this week.

Nicaragua’s decision to break diplomatic ties with the Netherlands is not an isolated move. The EU ambassador was declared persona non grata earlier this week, and the newly appointed US ambassador has been barred from entering the country. Earlier this year, the apostolic nuncio was expelled from Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s response should be viewed in the light of the EU’s current position and the sanctions the bloc has imposed.

The Netherlands is in talks with other European countries about how they intend to respond to Nicaragua’s actions. Approximately one hundred Dutch nationals live in Nicaragua and the Minister of Foreign Affairs is monitoring their situation. If necessary, the travel advice for Nicaragua will be changed.

The United States in control of the Greek port

The port of Alexandroupolis in northeastern Greece has gained strategic importance as the United States strengthens military ties with a South European NATO ally

This has hurt US relations with Turkey as Western leaders increasingly distrust authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Currently, American companies are showing the keenest interest in privatising this sea harbour in Greece.

Alexandroupolis is an important transhipment point for NATO military supplies to Ukraine. It is a strategic location for diversifying energy supplies to European markets. It is located in the country’s extreme northeast, 30 kilometres west of the Turkish border and 50 kilometres south of Bulgaria.

Over the past three years, the US and Greece have signed agreements to strengthen their defence cooperation. It guarantee “unrestricted American access” to a number of Greek military bases. Since that collaboration began, the port has experienced unusually high traffic in military vessels. It is so intense that when 1,500 US Marines from the USS Arlington landed on shore in May, the city’s 57,000 residents faced shortages of certain foodstuffs, such as eggs and tobacco.

“The port can accommodate ships up to 650 feet (200 m) in length. Its proximity to the newly improved road network and connection to the railways make it one of the most important ports in Greece. The US asked Greece to include Alexandroupolis in the list of areas where the Americans will be present. The port allows them to easily transfer forces and equipment to Eastern Europe.”

Liutenant General of the Reserve Ilias Leontaris

The Americans made certain improvements to the port, aimed at facilitating the loading and unloading of ships. In 2021 alone, the US military moved 3,100 containers through it, according to official sources cited by The New York Times. These sources did not specify the nature of the shipments, but assured that they were all destined for US bases in Europe.

This year, more than 2,400 containers passed through the port until July. According to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, protected Bushmaster mobile vehicles sent by Australia to Ukraine also passed through Alexandroupolis.

The deployment of US troops in Alexandroupolis did not go unnoticed by Russia. Back in December 2021, two and a half months before the start of a special military operation in Ukraine, Moscow accused Washington of sending weapons to Kyiv through a Greek port.

“Alexandroupolis is a gateway to the Balkans and a corridor to Ukraine. Since Turkey has become a less reliable ally, it is necessary to have an alternative route that can be activated”

Harry Theoharis – a former Greek Minister and MP from the right-wing New Democracy party

Forced Privatisation

Thus, the article emphasises that the port of Alexandroupolis has become a coveted geopolitical object now that its management is offered to the highest bidder.

In return for the successive bailout packages the EU has given Greece over the past decade, Brussels has forced Athens to privatize numerous state assets. Including the management of its ports. By the deadline last Thursday, September 22, Greece received two binding bids for a majority stake in the port of Alexandroupolis. One is owned by Quintana, a US company with interests in the energy sector. The other is owned by International Port Investments Alexandroupolis.It is a joint venture led by Greek construction company GEK Terna with US investment fund Black Summit. Two other contenders were with Russian connections. One belonging to Ivan Savvidisi. The other to the Cupeluso family, who work with the Russian energy company Gazprom.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on November 11, 2021 that the creation of a large American military base in the Greek port city of Alexandroupolis suggests that Greece itself has become a kind of US outpost.

2022 Russian Exports To Mexico Increase 20%

Opportunities in new markets for Russian exporters

Russia’s exports of goods to Mexico increased by more than 20% during the first six months of the current year. It is according to the latest figures released by the Bank of Mexico. In monetary terms, Mexican imports from Russia amounted to US$1.193 billion. In June, Mexican purchases of Russian goods exceeded US$275 million. That is the second-highest figure in the two countries bilateral trade history.

Russia is a key international supplier of fertilizers to Mexico. It is accounting for nearly a quarter of all Mexican imports of nitrogen and mixed nitrogen, phosphorus and potash fertilizers. Rolled steel, aluminium, and synthetic rubber are among the country’s other important imports from Russia.

With Russian non-energy exports to the European Union undergoing a significant decline due to sanctions and related political upheavals, Russian exporters and entrepreneurs have been busy finding alternative markets. Mexico has close relations with Russia and was a participant in its Sputnik V covid vaccine scheme. Mexico’s main exports to Russia include tequila, beer, beef, and automobiles. Mexico is Russia’s third biggest trading partner in Latin America.

Russian multinational companies such as Power Machines operate in Mexico. Mexican multinational companies such as Grupo Omnilife, Grupo Maseca, Nemak, Cemex, Mabe, Katcon, Metalsa and Gruma operate in Russia.

Mexico is not participating in any economic sanctions against Russia

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced in March that Mexico would not be participating in any economic sanctions against Russia. He criticized the overseas censorship of Russian state media. There has been some talk of a Mexican free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union. However, this would probably be a step too far for the neighboring United States, with the US being Mexico’s largest trade partner.

However, Russian entrepreneurs have been busy in Latin America with bilateral trade booming in other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. An interesting component of this has been Russian sourcing of EU-style products from Latin America. This is because they are now difficult to source in Russia, or to manufacture without years of experience. This includes items such as Parmigiana cheese, absolutely necessary in Italian cuisine. With Argentina having a huge Italian diaspora who still retain that knowhow, Argentinian Parmigiana is now on sale in Russian supermarkets.

Increased bilateral trade also means increased opportunities for Mexican exporters to sell to Russia.

The “black sun” is shining in Ukraine

The Nazi symbol “Black Sun” on the uniforms of some Ukrainian soldiers, which was even announced by NATO, by chance gave a symbolic explanation of Putin’s de-nazification of Ukraine

By Biljana Mitrinovic Rasevic

One detail on the uniforms of Ukrainian soldiers, difficult to notice and recognizable only to those familiar with the matter, has recently started a controversy on social networks, and then in the media, whether the Ukrainian army should be denazified, as Vladimir Putin demands. Thanks to the photos of Ukrainian soldiers with the symbol “black sun”, which began to appear on social media, and NATO is responsible for publishing one of them, a discussion was launched on the use of this Nazi symbol and how it appeared on the uniforms of Ukrainian soldiers . Thus, three weeks after the start of the war in Ukraine, Putin’s goal of denazifying the Ukrainian army received its specific explanation.

Wanting to congratulate women from Ukraine on March 8, NATO posted a collage of photos of women doing various jobs on their Twitter account. One picture shows a girl wearing a symbol of the “black sun”, the “sun wheel”, which was used by the Nazis and Satanists in some of their rituals. It consists of two circles in which twelve symbols of the sun’s rays are symmetrically arranged, similar to the symbols used by the SS in its logo.

As users reacted on “Twitter”, warning that it was a Nazi symbol, NATO removed the tweet from its account. A spokesman for the alliance told the BBC, which was the first to publish the news, that the publication with the photo, which was taken from the archives of an international organization, was removed when they realized that it “contains a symbol that we cannot confirm as official”.

Black Sun

Believers in the white race superiority

In another photo, taken by Ukrainian photo-reporter Anastasia Vlasova and published on Getty Images on Twitter, the “black sun” symbol can be seen on the equipment of a Ukrainian soldier helping evacuate civilians near Kiev. The British agency writes that the symbol in different versions is used by different cultures around the world, among them the ancient Nordic and Celtic communities.

He also quoted the anti-Semitic organization ADL as saying that it should not be immediately assumed that the symbol necessarily signifies racism or “white supremacy”, but that the “black sun” is one of several European symbols adopted by the Nazis in an attempt to create an idealized Aryan race.

The BBC also cites a report by the human rights organization Freedom House, which states that the “black sun” is often used in Ukraine as a symbol of extreme right-wing ideology and is an integral part of the military insignia of the Azov Battalion. a nationalist battalion fighting pro-Russian separatist groups in the east. ” This battalion initially consisted of voluntary extreme forces, but was later included in the regular composition of the Ukrainian army, and receives orders from the commander of the National Guard.

The symbol of the “black sun” is used by neo-fascists, neo-Nazis, extreme right-wing organizations and members of groups and movements that believe that the white race is superior and the only one worthy of survival. The symbol often appears on their flags, T-shirts, posters, websites and in extremist publications that are associated with such groups. The data indicate that modern extreme right-wing groups often call this symbol the “sun wheel”.

At the exit from Mariupol, members of the Russian forces examine civilians in search of neo-Nazi tattoos (Photo by RIA Novosti / A. Kudenko)

Connection to Heinrich Himmler

History says that Heinrich Himmler – commander of SS units and the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, who was in charge of designing and leading the implementation of the “final solution to the Jewish question” – deserved the introduction of this symbol as Nazi. In 1933, he bought Wevelsburg Castle near Paderborn in Germany to make it an exclusive SS center. Himmler ordered the castle to be expanded and rebuilt for ceremonial purposes. At that time, this symbol with 12 dark green granite “sun rays” was made on the white marble floor of the “General Hall”, like the ones used in the SS logo.

Ukraine Crisis – The start of the Multipolar World!

Le Monde: special operation in Ukraine could forever change the global economy

The French publication Le Monde suggested that Russia’s special operation in Ukraine could lead to irreversible changes in the global economy, which has not yet recovered from the effects of the coronavirus. The start of the multipolar world is clear.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this should cut global GDP growth by about one percentage point and raise inflation by 2.5 points. The OECD warns that the risk of “food insecurity” hangs over Africa and the Middle East in particular due to the sharp rise in commodity prices, and in particular wheat.

“The crisis is already manifesting itself in rising prices for energy, food and some metals,” said Lawrence Boone, chief economist at the OECD.

Le Monde, in his article, also cites an assessment of the International Monetary Fund, which believes that the Russian special operation could have long-term consequences for the global economy, which will ultimately change the “world economic and geopolitical order.”

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to conduct a military special operation to protect the Donbass in response to a request for help from the heads of the LPR and DPR.

Ukraine severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Martial law in Ukraine was introduced until March 26.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Reuters: US in consultations with Turkey concerned the possibility of Ankara transferring S-400 to Kiev

American officials, during consultations with Turkish colleagues, touched upon the possibility of Ankara transferring S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) to Kiev, but they did not make such an offer officially. This was reported on Saturday by Reuters .

U.S. officials have floated the suggestion over the past month with their Turkish counterparts but no specific or formal request was made, the sources told Reuters. They said it also came up briefly during Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit to Turkey earlier this month.

The Biden administration has been asking allies who have been using Russian made equipment and systems including S-300s and S-400s to consider transferring them to Ukraine as it tries to fend off a Russian invasion that began on Feb. 24. read more

The idea, which analysts said was sure to be shot down by Turkey, was part of a wider discussion between Sherman and Turkish officials about how the United States and its allies can do more to support Ukraine and on how to improve bilateral ties.

The Turkish authorities have not commented on any U.S. suggestion or proposal relating to the transfer to Ukraine of Ankara’s S-400 systems, which have been a point of long-standing contention between the two NATO allies.

Turkish foreign ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

Turkish sources and analysts said any such suggestion would be a non-starter for Turkey, citing issues ranging from technical hurdles related to installing and operating the S-400s in Ukraine, to political concerns such as the blowback Ankara would likely face from Moscow.

Attempt to improve strained relationship

Washington has repeatedly asked Ankara to get rid of the Russian-built surface-to-air missile batteries since the first delivery arrived in July 2019. The United States has imposed sanctions on a Turkey’s defence industry and removed NATO member Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet programme as a result.

Ankara has said it was forced to opt for the S-400s because allies did not provide weapons on satisfactory terms.

U.S. officials are keen to seize this moment to draw Turkey back into Washington’s orbit. Efforts to find “creative” ways to improve the strained relationship have accelerated in recent weeks, even though no specific proposal has so far gained traction, U.S. and Turkish sources have said.

“I think everyone knows that the S-400 has been a long standing issue and perhaps this is a moment when we can figure out a new way to solve this problem,” Sherman told Turkish broadcaster Haberturk in an interview on March 5.

It was not clear what exactly she meant and the State Department has not answered questions about her comments. The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the suggestion made during her visit to Turkey.

The effort is also part of a wider bid by the Biden administration to respond to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s plea to help protect Ukraine’s skies. Russian or Soviet-made air defense systems such as S-300s that other NATO allies have and S-400s are sought after.

“Ankara spooked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”

One source familiar with U.S. thinking said Washington’s floating of the possibility came as a result of the renewed effort to improve ties at a time when Ankara has been spooked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Turkish President Erdogan had not received a specific heads up from Russian President Vladimir Putin on his plans of a full-scale attack on Ukraine, another source familiar with the discussions said.

Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good ties with both. It has said the invasion is unacceptable and voiced support for Ukraine, but has also opposed sanctions on Moscow while offering to mediate.

Ankara has carefully formulated its rhetoric not to offend Moscow, analysts say, with which it has close energy, defence and tourism ties. But Ankara has also sold military drones to Kyiv and signed a deal to co-produce more, angering the Kremlin. Turkey also opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya, as well as its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

“Turkey has managed to walk on the razor’s edge and a transfer of a Russian S-400 would certainly lead to severe Russian ire,” said Aaron Stein, director of research at the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute. “And for Erdogan, the S-400 has become a symbol of Turkish sovereignty, so trading it away wouldn’t be all roses and flowers.”


It seems that relevant departments of the US government have completely lost touch with the reality. That means a serious problem for the whole world. People without toucfh with reality tend to make wrong decisions. As simple as that. Pressing Turkey to send S400 system to Ukraine is certainly a sign of desperation. If not a sign of complete madness.

Collapse is inevitable… A view from Russia

The President of the United States in an address to the nation publicly acknowledged the fall of the American economy, blaming Russia for this. Collapse is inevitable…

US President Joe Biden warned his fellow citizens in a recent address to the nation that they would have to suffer for democracy in Ukraine.

At the same time, he deftly linked official inflation, gigantic by the standards of the United States, with the events taking place around Ukraine. Well, as always, only Russia is to blame for this.

A very strange explanation of the situation, given that the liberals assured us that the Russian economy is only a statistical error in the overall world economy. And, in general – since 2018, Apple Corporation alone is worth more than the entire Russian economy! If you are to believe these “evaluations”.

But the US government knows better. Since the average American has to suffer for democracy in Ukraine (through frenzied inflation and rising prices for everything), then let him suffer.

Russia’s actions really affect inflation in the United States regardless. That could lead to the collapse of not only their economy, but also to the collapse of the entire modern financial system. This is due to the fact that Russia has gained sovereignty and no longer sells its natural resources for almost free, especially energy. Something that was happening during the last decade of the last century. Arrival of Putin changed that situation.

In Russia today, too, high inflation, which is 8.7%. In the US, inflation is 7.5%. But there is one big difference: in Russia, inflation is in rubles, while in the US it is in dollars.

What does it mean?

Prices for goods are always rising with us, as there is inflation. But they grow in rubles, while in dollars they, on the contrary, fall.

  • For example, just yesterday the dollar exchange rate was 77 rubles, and today it costs 80 rubles.

That is, goods produced within Russia fell in price against the dollar.

Let’s take gasoline as an example.

In 2014, a liter of 95th gasoline cost 35 rubles, or 1 dollar (the dollar exchange rate was also 35 rubles then).

Today, a liter of AI-95 gasoline costs 53 rubles, that is, $0.69 at a dollar rate of 77 rubles (or $0.66 at a rate of 80 rubles).

By manipulating the ruble exchange rate, it is possible to minimize the damage from dollar inflation within the Russian economy. Another thing is that the real incomes of citizens will decline, but the economy will only develop and grow. That is why, even with high oil prices, the ruble still does not return to its previous values ​​​​of 50 or even 30 rubles per dollar. And this will not happen as long as the US economy (and with it the EU economy) is in crisis.

  • However, the crisis in the United States did not arise because of the situation in Ukraine, as Joe Biden talks about it. Ukraine is just a good excuse to divert the attention of US citizens from the really fundamental economic problems.

The United States, like no one else, knows how to manipulate inflation and dispel any threats and risks to its economy in the global financial system.

Their freshly printed candy wrappers are supplied by market demand and supply

US economists are very smart people. They have built an economic model in which the US economy will grow and develop in almost any circumstances. And if something goes wrong, you can always print more money and pour it into the economy. Like doping.

The worst nightmare for the US economy is the deficit generated by excessive inflation. And this can happen only in one case. It is when there is not enough goods in the world that the United States needs. And it cannot be bought for any money. Under such conditions the more dollars are printed, the more expensive the desired product will be, and the more expensive the product, the more inflation will be. And it goes in spiral.

Look at the US inflation chart:

US inflation chart. 
The modern Bretton Woods financial system based on the US dollar originated in 1945

1. 1951-1954: Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan (oil crisis)

2. Arab-Jewish war (oil crisis of 1973-1974)

3. Islamic revolution in Iran (oil crisis of 1979-1980)

4. The global financial crisis of 2008 (a lot of oil)

5. Present time (physically there is not enough oil).

The real cause of the inflation

The cause of inflation in the US is the global energy crisis. All statements that US inflation is a temporary event were based on the erroneous hope that demand for hydrocarbons would soon stabilize. Today, however, it has become clear that this will not happen. As a result, the States even had to unpack their strategic oil reserves and enter the world market with it. However, all this was in vain, as the price of oil is already approaching $100 per barrel. Price of oil started rising before Ukrainian crisis. It is true that current crisis is certainly making it even worse.

Such high inflation in the USA has not been seen for more than 42 years!

The world simply no longer has enough energy resources to meet all the needs of the world economy. Russia controls around 23% of energy exports in the entire world economy (oil, gas, coal, electricity). Any provocation of Russia will only raise energy prices.

The United States is well aware of this.. Without long-term access to resources, it is impossible to contain inflation, since energy is the basis for the production of any product and service. It seems that fracking is approaching its maximum. It probably already happened. Not to mention that energy acquired by that methodology is expensive. Only weak Russia would allow plundering of its resources as during Yeltsin era. All sanctions introduced by US and EU against Russia since 2014 simply failed.

US dollar is not only currency but commodity as well

Remember the times when the price of oil reached the mark of more than $140 per barrel? But even then there was no such inflation in the US. Why? It’s simple: oil can be arbitrarily expensive – the United States will always buy it and in any quantity. But what to do if there is no physical oil? Then the price is absolutely not important – it still will not be enough for everyone.

Importance of “petro-dollar”

How is oil (and most other goods) traded on international markets? Saudi Arabia has made agreement with US that all oil trading will be in US dollar. Other oil producers (including USSR) followed. That means that anyone with need to buy oil would have to pay it in US dollar. Many were forced to buy US dollar making it become some sort of a commodity. That is aloso one of the reasons of it being “reserve currency”.

US and the rest of the “west” relied od cheap energy and commodities to support their growth, high living standard and world domination. In their greed they “exported” manufacturing industries to developing countries (China being one of them some 20 years ago). That made American rich class even richer. It also deprived American government revenue from taxes. Accelerated development of the “third world” countries also means higher demand for energy and resources.

V.V. Putin, in a recent address to the people of Russia, during which recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR was announced, confirmed what has been obvious for a long time – US sanctions are aimed at curbing the development of Russia. Nothing to do with democracy, human rights, ot any other reasons that CNN/BBC would like you to believe.

As long as there is government in Moscow that will not allow pillaging of Russian natural resources, there will be pressure through sanctions and attempts to surreound it with unfriendly regimes in their neighborhood. Prices of natural gas went through the roof not because of Russia using it as a weapon but because someone in EU decided to go “green” overnight. It failed miserably.

Argentina joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative

The Latin American country is seeking a way out of US and IMF ‘debt diplomacy’

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez added another event to a highly politicized Winter Olympics when he met in Beijing last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping and agreed to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Argentina becomes the 20th of 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to sign up for the Belt & Road. An official seal on what was already an extensive and growing economic relationship.

In addition to expanding trade and investment opportunities with China, joining the Belt & Road should make it easier for Argentina to obtain funding from the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the BRICS New Development Bank.

And this should reduce its dependence on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a top priority for Fernandez.

Prior to the February 6 meeting in Beijing, Fernandez dropped by Moscow. There he told Russian President Vladimir Putin: “I am determined that Argentina has to stop being dependent on the Fund and the United States. Here I believe that Russia has an important place.”

Coming in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, this was the first of two diplomatic slaps in the face of the US government, which is boycotting the games in Beijing. Fernandez attended the opening ceremony.

The UK had a slap of its own when China took the opportunity to support Argentina’s position on the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). That is another story. It does underline the Global South versus Imperial North nature of the dispute.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Argentina and China. More recently, relations between the two countries have advanced considerably during and after the presidency of leftist Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who led Argentina from 2007 to 2015.

Difficult relations with the US

She had difficult relations with the US, which she blamed for Argentina’s sovereign debt default in 2014, and she put relations with China on the course they are on today, as is demonstrated by this statement from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

On April 23, 2014, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Pink House in Buenos Aires.

Cristina said that the Chinese government promotes reforms with keen determination, and the whole country is dedicated to the national construction with concerted efforts, by which China has scored great achievements well-known worldwide and become a model for developing countries. The Argentinian side highly values Argentina-China strategic partnership, and is willing to strongly boost political mutual trust between the two countries and to deepen cooperation in economy, trade, infrastructure, agriculture, hydroelectricity, scien-tech and other fields, so as to promote Argentina-China relations for greater development.

Wang Yi said that … China views China-Argentina relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and stands ready to work with Argentina in maintaining high-level exchanges and deepening strategic communication.

Argentina has the reputation of being an economic basket case, but it has a fairly sophisticated economy and now runs a trade surplus, with exports exceeding imports by 23% in 2021.

Exports were led by agricultural products (35.5%), industrial manufacturing (29.1%) and primary goods (26.9%). Imports were led by intermediate products (36.9%), capital goods (18.8%) and parts and accessories for capital goods (18.1%), according to statistics from Trading Economics.

Argentina’s top three export markets are Brazil, China and the US. Its top three sources of imports are China, Brazil and the US. Total trade with China has expanded by several times in the past 20 years and is now nearly double the total trade with the US.

Significant trade is already in place

Argentina is a major exporter of soybeans and soybean-derived products, corn and beef, competing with the United States in China and other markets. Like Brazil, it offers China an alternative to dependence on the US in the middle of a long-term trade dispute and increasingly acrimonious rivalry.

Also in January, China’s Zijin Mining announced it had completed the purchase of Neo Lithium of Canada and its 3Q lithium brine project in Argentina. According to the press release, the project “is one of the largest and highest-grade projects of its kind in the world. The property is the fifth-largest lithium brine project in the world, and ranks among the top three in terms of grades.”

The Canadian government approved the deal without a security review and “the project has been approved by the Environmental and Mining Authority in Catamarca Province, Argentina.”  

Canadian conservatives and American China-bashers were outraged. Florida Congressman Michael Waltz, a Republican member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, said:

Was the Biden administration notified and, if it was, why did it green-light this acquisition? And if it wasn’t, why wasn’t it in accordance with the agreement [the Canada-US Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals]? Obviously, we’re NATO allies. We, I think, have a common view of the Chinese Communist Party as an increasingly dangerous and threatening adversary.

5G rollout with Huawei and Nokia

In addition to that, Telecom Argentina began to roll out 5G telecom services last year in partnership with Huawei and Nokia.

The Americans didn’t like that either. But what more attractive alternative to any Chinese project in Argentina have they offered?

On the other hand, the United States is closely identified with the IMF, which is not popular in Argentina. Here’s how Fernandez explained it to Putin:

Argentina has experienced a very special situation as a result of its indebtedness and the economic situation that I inherited. From the 1990s onwards [actually since the Latin American debt crisis of 1982], Argentina has looked to the United States, and the Argentine economy depends a great deal on the IMF debt and the US influence in the Fund …  In 2015 we had a government that once again turned its gaze to the United States and generated the tremendous debt we have.

Not a word about financial irresponsibility

Not a word about financial irresponsibility and the workings of Argentine democracy, but that is not the point.

The final sentence of Fernandez’s comment refers to Mauricio Macri, the center-right businessman and politician who succeeded Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the presidency in 2015 and served until 2019.

Macri repaired relations with the US and liberalized the economy. And when a severe drought crippled the agricultural sector, inflation ran out of control and the government could not meet its obligations, he turned to the IMF.

That led to an even worse disaster.

On December 22, 2021, the IMF published the following press release and staff report: Argentina: Ex-Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2018 Stand-By Arrangement. Its summary:

On June 20, 2018, the Executive Board approved the largest stand-by arrangement in the Fund’s history, in support of Argentina’s 2018-21 economic program. After an augmentation in October 2018, access under the arrangement amounted to US$57 billion … The program saw only four of the planned twelve reviews completed, and did not fulfil the objectives of restoring confidence in fiscal and external viability while fostering economic growth. The arrangement was canceled on July 24, 2020.

IMF Country Report No. 2021/279

The IMF defines “stand-by arrangement” as follows:

In an economic crisis, countries often need financing to help them overcome their balance of payments problems. Since its creation in June 1952, the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) has been the workhorse lending instrument for emerging and advanced market countries.

Unfortunately, the stand-by arrangement required fiscal and monetary austerity, which caused a recession. Argentina’s GDP dropped by 2.6% in 2018 and by another 2.1% in 2019. Then, with the onset of the pandemic, it plummeted 9.9% in 2020. Poverty increased by an estimated 50% and capital flowed out of the country.

In this situation, Fernandez headed to Moscow and Beijing to broaden his options, stirring up opposition to his leadership on the right as well.

But default has been averted, the IMF has abandoned “tough love” for what could be called constructive sympathy, and currency swaps between the Argentine and Chinese central banks have added to Argentina’s foreign currency reserves.

This should stabilize the economic situation and allow the Chinese to continue expanding their role in Argentina’s economy. They are not wasting any time.

On January 19, agreements aimed at upgrading Argentina’s railway system were signed by the Minister of Transport, the president of the national railway company and representatives of engineering contractor China Railway International Group and rolling stock maker CRRC Qindao Sifang.