Russia in Latin America: Variable Geometry of a Secondary Actor with Protagonist Aspirations

This article is part of the book Challenges and Threats to Security in Latin America.


Russia’s role in Latin America is framed in the changing global geopolitical context. Its renewed role in the region since 2008, reinforced following the invasion of Ukraine, is linked to that conquered by other emerging powers. Latin America perceives Russia as an option to diversify its international and economic-commercial relations, and break its historical dependence on the United States, as well as the current one with China. Moscow, however, has contributed to the fragmentation, polarization, reprimand, and subordinate position of the region. In the medium term, Russia could see its regional room for action reduced due to the growing Chinese potential and the authoritarian drift of Vladimir Putin’s regime nullifying Moscow as a possible ally for most Latin American countries.

Keywords: Russia, Latin America, Putin.


The invasion of Ukraine has deepened and accelerated an underlying trend for more than a decade: under Putin, the Russian Federation has returned to Latin America.[1] A renewed presence and parallel to other processes that favors the return of the Kremlin to the “backyard” of the United States. This coincides, as Mira Milosevic points out, with the withdrawal of Washington and the European Union and the rise of China and other emerging powers in the region.[2]

Russia, without a comprehensive policy or a global view of Latin America, unlike China, has increased its presence in the last ten or fifteen years. For many Latin American nations, it is an international actor, functional to their interests, which allows them to diversify their international relations and export markets. Historically, these have focused on mono export. During the colonial period, the relationship with Spain prevailed, later, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the United Kingdom, after the Second World War with the United States, and now emerges, with exceptions such as Mexico, an increasingly intense relationship with China.[3] In this context, Russia rose, until the invasion of Ukraine, as a possible partner capable of expanding international ties.

The international presence of Latin America has been trailing behind the great powers. This was accentuated during the Cold War. The confrontation between the superpowers had in Latin America (Guatemala in 1954, Cuba since 1959, South America in the 1960s, and Central America in the 1980s) a prominent role in the clash between capitalism and communism.[4] However, since the 1990s, especially after the crisis of 2008 and repeated displays of US disinterest, various extra-regional powers have landed, in some cases to challenge US hegemony. This process was facilitated by the anti-imperialist and post-colonial policies of ALBA and its allies. The consolidation of this multipolar world, especially after the crisis of 2008, had multiple consequences in Latin America. Economically, China consolidated itself as a relevant trading partner. Geopolitically, certain emerging actors gained influence, economic power, and prestige at the expense of traditional powers: the United States and the European Union (including Spain), allowing the emergence of new powers (China) or the reappearance of others (Russia).[5]

Since the first decade of the twenty-first century, and more particularly in recent years, China, India, Russia, Iran, and, to a lesser degree, Turkey strengthened their presence. Almost all question US hegemony and bet on a multipolar world, although only China has had a Latin American strategy since the time of Hu Jintao when the first White Paper on regional policy was prepared. Xi Jinping has quantitatively and qualitatively boosted Latin America’s projection: China has become the region’s second-largest trading partner and the first in most countries.[6]

The following pages analyze the characteristics of the Russian presence in Latin America, distinguishing the links established according to the Kremlin’s strategy and the positioning of each Latin American country. This has led to regional deficits such as fragmentation, polarization, reprimanding, and subordinate positions in international geopolitics.

This presence is more geopolitical and political than economic-commercial. The share of total world trade (imports and exports) is small: the Russian weight in Latin American trade does not reach 1 %. However, from a geopolitical point of view, the link is functional for both. For Putin, Latin America is a window of opportunity to appear as a global power and weaken Washington. For Latin Americans, the relationship with Moscow gives them greater autonomy vis-à-vis the United States and diversifies their export markets.

Consequences of the Russian Presence in Latin America

The influence and presence of Russia in Latin America, after the eclipse after 1989, has been experiencing a resurgence for two decades, supported by economic-commercial exchange (sale of arms and military equipment, trade, and agreements to fight drug trafficking) and propaganda to promote Russia’s role as a power, legitimize its international strategy, and gain support in the region.[7]

Russia’s link with Latin America is not uniform and varies from country to country. It is of variable geometry, structured through strategic relationships with several nations, basically Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. They are usually geopolitical ties, in some cases commercial, but relevant. Russia is, in fact, a secondary regional actor, although in some countries it assumes a leading role and in others, it does not go beyond a supporting actor.

Russian geopolitical interest focuses on three main areas. First, the Kremlin seeks to diversify its foreign relations to show that it is not isolated internationally following economic sanctions by the European Union and the United States over the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine. It also seeks to establish and protect markets for its products, ensuring access to global technology and information flows and maintaining a presence in key institutions for its economic transactions. Secondly, it aims to create a multipolar “post-Western” order by counterbalancing American power.[8][9] Moscow uses Latin America to counter American influence in other areas. It’s one more piece of Putin’s global strategy. As a revisionist power, Russia questions the existence of a US-led unipolar world with European support. Together with NATO, they are the main obstacles to rebuilding Russian influence in its hinterland (Georgia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan). Thirdly, it enables it to establish itself as a great power, with global interests and presence. Since coming to power (1999), and especially since the last decade, Putin seeks to return Russia to its past role, recovering its hegemony in the former Soviet republics and making itself present in other strategic areas such as Latin America. This strategy, without the ideological constraints of yesteryear, is more pragmatic for diversifying foreign relations. It is anchored in the “Primakov Doctrine” (Prime Minister and Foreign Minister between 1996 and 1999). The ideas of Primakov, very critical of Boris Yeltsin’s purpose of “abandoning” the regions that Russia had influenced during the Cold War, including Latin America, underlie Putin’s “assertive strategy” in Syria, in the rapprochement with China, and support for Maduro and Ortega.[10]

The Russian presence in Latin America deepens three major deficits that weigh down the geopolitical role of the region: reprimarization of its economies, fragmentation of the region, and irrelevance as an international player.

The Deepening of Reprimarization. Russia’s first impact as Latin America’s trade and economic partner is to deepen the reprimarization of Latin American economies. This process began with the economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s and continued during the commodity super cycle (2003-2013). The economic link that Russia, like the United States and China, has established with Latin American countries helps consolidate the trend that places the region as a mere exporter of raw materials.

Trade relations with Russia are concentrated in the largest economies: its average weight as a trading partner of Latin America is 5 %, although with Brazil and Mexico it exceeds 10 %. Most imports are raw materials; almost 100 % food (meat, fruit, vegetables, and milk). Exports are also poorly diversified (arms and military equipment, fertilizers, steel or oil, and wheat with Mexico). As Latin America’s trading partner, Russia has a clear minority share, although it has grown by almost 50 % since the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century.

These trade and investment figures are far from those of the United States and the European Union, and even China.[11] The region, on average, exports less than 0.5 % of its sales to Russia, although Ecuador sells 21 % of its bananas. Regarding imports, Latin America only receives 0.7 % of the world’s total from Russia,[12] although 88 % of mineral fertilizers are of Russian origin.

The Accentuation of Fragmentation. Russia not only contributes to Latin American reprimarization but is also another element in the growing regional fragmentation and polarization, placing the subcontinent in a subordinate position on the international chessboard. The region has been affected by the war in Ukraine, albeit with a secondary role in the global context, due, first of all, to the crisis of integration. This has limited its presence on the extra-regional stage and prevented it from speaking with one voice in multilateral forums. Most countries, with exceptions (Brazil, Chile, and Mexico), lack a solid and coherent foreign policy. In general, this focuses on the regional relationship and, especially, on the link with its neighbors.

The relationship with Russia, an authoritarian and expansionist international actor, has accentuated regional fragmentation. That division has been evident in the region’s vote in international forums following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Latin American countries have once again not spoken with one voice and have even positioned themselves in not only different but antagonistic fields.

Fragmentation was evident in several scenarios, such as the UN General Assembly on March 2, 2022. There, a resolution condemning the invasion of Russia was voted by a majority and its immediate withdrawal was requested. Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and El Salvador abstained. Venezuela, critical of the resolution, could not vote because it was not up to date with its contributions. The result was repeated on March 24, when the humanitarian consequences of Russian aggression were discussed. The Latin American vote was more divided on April 7, when Russia was suspended from the UN Human Rights Council for serious human rights violations in Ukraine. The majority, eleven, voted in favor, three against (Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua) and Brazil, El Salvador and Mexico abstained.[13]

The fragmentation around Russia experienced another chapter in the OAS when a resolution was adopted calling on the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw all its military forces; 28 of the 34 members voted in favor, none against, and 5 abstained (Brazil, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). Nicaragua was absent.

International Irrelevance. Being a fragmented region leads to global geopolitical irrelevance or occupying a subordinate and peripheral position. Fragmentation eliminates the region as a possible strategic ally, beyond its role as a supplier of natural resources. The traditional secondary role of Latin America in major international issues has been seen again in the Ukrainian crisis.

During the Summit of the Americas, held in Los Angeles amid the crisis (at the beginning of June), the United States did not present a project of economic modernization of hemispheric scale to incorporate Latin America into the technological revolution (its interest was reduced to the high migratory pressure), nor did it try to build a continental alliance in the face of Russian aggression. Behind this attitude is Washington’s distrust of a region in which volatility and lack of international coordination predominate,[14] although the concern of the Biden Administration to reformulate its policy of alliances and its growing interest in Latin America were evident.

Russian Targets in Latin America

As this crisis has shown, the pulse of the United States against Russia in vital areas for its security, such as Ukraine, is answered in Latin America with force or even threats, despite its secondary role. Moscow is trying to take advantage of a region that, in turn, seeks access to markets, financing -especially in countries with difficulties in accessing traditional financial mechanisms (Argentina, Venezuela)- and technology, increasing cooperation in civilian uses of nuclear energy (Brazil and Argentina) and biotechnology (Cuba). However, Latin America is heterogeneous, does not speak with one voice, and maintains differentiated ties with Russia, whose strategy moves at different levels.

Strategic Alliances. Some Latin American nations see the relationship with Russia as a geopolitical and economic lifeline, while Moscow sees them only as a way to disrupt the U.S. rearguard. As Evan Ellis notes, the Russian moves are “limited in scope and appear designed to intimidate the United States and compensate for its international political and economic isolation following the invasion of Ukraine.”[15] For certain governments, the link with Russia allows them to leave the US area of influence, break isolation, circumvent international sanctions, and acquire weapons.

The consequence is mutual solidarity that emerges during crises, such as in 2022 when Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua did not join the massive rejection of the invasion, and also publicly supported Putin and international organizations, who have been supporting Castroism, Chavismo, and Ortega for more than a decade, allowing them to overcome international isolation and consolidate their authoritarian systems.

In Venezuela, Russia maintained a privileged relationship with Chávez and today is a pillar of Maduro’s future. At its weakest stage (2013-2020), Russia deployed military equipment and troops, and provided technical assistance for S-300 air defense systems. There are at least 100 instructors, military technicians, and mercenaries of the Wagner Group in Venezuela.[16] In those years, sales of Russian military equipment amounted to $11.4 billion. In the past decade, Russia was the main supplier of weapons to the region, especially to Venezuela, contributing 73 % of the total. In addition, Russian interest is focused on energy and raw materials. Taking advantage of Venezuela’s isolation, Russia advanced in the control of its hydrocarbons. Rosneft resold about 225,000 barrels a day, nearly 13 percent of exports. The bilateral relationship with Venezuela was similar to that of the USSR with Cuba during the Cold War: to be the main stage to challenge “the hegemony of the United States” in its neighborhood. The biggest signs of support for Russia after the invasion came from Caracas. According to Maduro: “From Venezuela we denounce it, the West wants to dismember Russia, destroy it and end the hope of a multipolar world where we can all live.”

Nicaragua, although ranked 30th in Russia’s international trade, has a privileged relationship. Ortega’s dictatorial drift cannot be explained without Putin’s support and the progressive rapprochement with China. In 2021, Ortega broke a historical tradition (maintained by conservatives, liberals, and Sandinistas) by recognizing Beijing and breaking with Taiwan. In 2022, it authorized Russian troops, planes, and ships to operate in its country. As in Venezuela, Russia also deployed nuclear-capable Tu-160 Backfire bombers and other military aircraft, violating Colombian airspace several times.

Russia has been a solid supporter of Ortega in the last four years. In 2018, following the repression against students in Managua, the Kremlin urged the United States at the UN to “abandon attempts inspired by the colonialist tradition to influence the situation in Nicaragua.” In 2021 and 2022, Russia backed Ortega at the Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council. In 2021, Russia was one of the few countries that validated the re-election of Ortega, who, in 2008, after the Second War with Georgia, was among the first to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In the Ukraine crisis, Venezuela and Nicaragua have repeatedly shown support for Russia.

Russia also regained a smooth relationship with Cuba, inherited from the Cold War. During the Ukrainian crisis, Putin and Díaz-Canel pledged to deepen “strategic cooperation” and strengthen bilateral relations. They agreed to intensify their contacts to expand “cooperation in trade, economy, and investment.” The Russian strategy reinforces its policy, embodied in 2014 with the cancellation of 90 % of Cuba’s debt since Soviet times (31,500 million dollars)[17] and the possible reopening of the Lourdes station. Moscow has financed much of Cuba’s military modernization, its railway system, and the energy sector. In 2017, Rosneft began shipping oil to compensate for Venezuela’s lower availability. However, trade ties are modest: Cuba ranks 26th in Russian trade. However, beyond this support, electricity supply problems continue due to the obsolescence of the generating plants.

These alliances demonstrate that cooperation in security and defense (arms sales, military diplomacy, and non-traditional security) is key to the return to Latin America. The three main allies (Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba) remain so at the current juncture and unconditionally support Putin, as when he invaded South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008 and annexed Crimea in 2014. Russia again showed its intentions when, after the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow hinted that among its plans could be to deploy military forces in Latin America. In Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. It was a way to set limits for Washington, a message about the need for mutual respect and non-interference in their areas of influence. If the United States insists on advancing in the former Soviet republics, Russia will increase its presence in the “American backyard.” The Russian government, in full tension with the United States and the European Union, announced in January 2022 that it would strengthen strategic cooperation with these countries in “all areas.”

The rivalry between the United States and Russia, in their respective areas of influence, assumes a common dynamic: both deploy the strategy of “resilience support.” Since the end of the Cold War, Washington articulated its relationship with the countries of the post-Soviet space supporting their sovereignty and independence from Russia. For its part, Moscow has tried to preserve and increase its influence among the historical allies of the USSR (Cuba and Nicaragua), becoming a fundamental pillar for Maduro and Ortega.

Conjunctural Alliances. In the last five years, Putin has privileged bilateral relations to maintain a strategic link with governments opposed to the United States (Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Kirchnerist Argentina) and those capable of countering the hegemony of Washington (Brazil and Mexico). It also has other links, trying to be a geopolitical ally, as in the G-20 with Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, and in the BRICS with Brazil (Argentina has applied to join). He agrees with them in their multilateralist vision.

Russia and most Latin American countries have a limited conception of national sovereignty, more similar to each other than to the more interventionist positions of traditional powers. Moscow, unlike Washington and in agreement with Beijing, does not aspire to promote internal changes in the countries of the region or to demand guarantees of respect for human rights.[18]

The position of the three Latin American members of the G-20 is especially noteworthy after the attempt of the United States to isolate Russia internationally. President Bolsonaro has reiterated Brazil’s “neutrality” between Russia and Ukraine: “We will not take sides. We want peace, but we don’t want consequences for us.” Bolsonaro highlighted his dependence on Russian fertilizers. The case of Mexico is similar. López Obrador was cautious, calling for a peaceful solution and supporting humanitarian aid efforts. Argentina also maintained a “mixed” stance, between declarations of neutrality and condemnation of the invasion. Despite this, a group of four Republican senators asked Biden not to support loans for Argentina, because of its proximity to the Russian or Iranian dictatorships.

Russia is also present in other countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. In a full escalation of tension with the United States and NATO, Argentine President Alberto Fernández visited Moscow in January 2022, and in mid-February, Bolsonaro did so. The link with Argentina, resumed in 2010, ranges from geopolitics to economics, given the interest of Gazprom and other companies in Vaca Muerta gas. Fernández’s visit followed the debt workout agreement with the IMF, in which the United States played an important role. However, Fernández offered Russia to become his “gateway” in Latin America and saw Putin as a counterweight to the United States: “I am determined that Argentina has to stop having that great dependence it has on the Fund and the United States. It has to make its way elsewhere and there Russia has a very important place.”

Brazil is Russia’s main economic and geopolitical partner in the Americas. In the commercial sphere, it was during the governments of the PT (2003-2016) and with Bolsonaro. Putin’s pragmatism is on ideological criteria. Since 2010, it is the main economic partner in Latin America, with 33 % of the regional total. During Lula’s presidency, Brazil and Russia formed with India, China, and South Africa the BRICS, which have already held 12 summits, the last two in Brazil (2019) and Russia (2020). With Bolsonaro, the relationship has not declined. In addition to international interests, they share the same political vision: both promote illiberal and authoritarian governments. During the Ukrainian crisis, Bolsonaro announced his visit to Russia, which according to Folha de São Paulo lacked Washington’s approval. For Bolsonaro, the trip to Moscow was a way to show his autonomy in foreign policy and his distance from Biden: “Brazil is Brazil, Russia is Russia. I have a good relationship with everybody. If Biden invited me, I would also gladly go to the United States.”

Relations with the rest of the region are scarce and more limited. It highlights the Kremlin’s desire to foster closeness with Evo Morales, whom it supported when he was overthrown in 2019. After the return to power of the MAS in 2020, ties have become even closer, with exploitation projects in strategic areas, such as gas and lithium. The geopolitical link is joined by economic interests in gas (Gazprom), lithium, and nuclear issues (Rosatom).

The Russian presence has had another derivative, given the tense relations between Venezuela (its main arms client in Latin America) and Colombia (Washington’s ally and NATO partner since 2017). In full escalation between Russia and Ukraine, Defense Minister Diego Molano denounced the prolonged “foreign interference” – Russian – on the border. Underlying is not only the Colombian fear of the Russian presence and cooperation with the Bolivarian military but also the fate of weapons that could end up in the criminal gangs (bacrim) and guerrillas operating from their Venezuelan bases, with Maduro’s acquiescence. The weakness and corruption of the Venezuelan state and the financial capacity of the gangs led Bogotá to denounce these facts, while Colombia accused the Venezuelan government of protecting armed groups. The tension led to a meeting between Colombian Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez and the Kremlin’s representative in Bogota, Nikolay Tavdumadze. Russia pledged to avoid the diversion of its military cooperation. Moscow also guaranteed that its assistance was technical and not military.

From its pragmatic position and away from ideologies, Russia tries to expand in Latin America. At first, taking advantage of Bolivarian regional integration initiatives, such as ALBA, with alliances that neutralized the United States. However, he suffered the same disappointment as Bush in 2005, when he found with the FTAA that regional division, lack of leadership, and inconsistency in integration prevented reaching global agreements with the region. Similarly, ALBA’s paralysis, without Chávez’s leadership or Venezuelan petrodollars, exposed its limitations. But Russia maintains strong ties with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), agreeing on the goal of building a multipolar world. This closeness has been reflected in the signing of a Permanent Mechanism for Political Dialogue and Cooperation (2015). For Russia, the relationship with CELAC is a way to insert itself and gain weight and global visibility through an international organization outside its theoretical area of influence. For CELAC (which excludes the United States and was born to be an alternative to the OAS) the link with Russia makes it gain autonomy from Washington.

Despite not being a relevant economic and commercial actor in Latin America, Russia has increased its projection and prestige through other strategies, such as “vaccine diplomacy” or information/disinformation campaigns. In the case of vaccines, Russia improved its image after developing Sputnik V, effective against COVID-19, and making it available to Latin American countries, when the United States and the European Union monopolized the acquisition of vaccines. Despite logistical problems that delayed its arrival and not being recognized by the WHO, Sputnik was applied in Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Venezuela.[19]

Within the framework of soft power, Russia also seeks to gain a presence in Latin America, as in other parts of the world, through propaganda. Russia Today (RT) in Spanish and the expansion on the Internet (Sputnik) are the most ambitious mechanism to gain image and influence. RT en Español has Latin Americanized its contents, to try to capture the interest of the regional audience. His bet has been successful, winning numerous followers, which has meant that he has a platform to attack the United States and the European Union, which he shows as corrupt countries that do not respect human rights and protect against war crimes. RT presents a friendly face of Russia while showing it as an alternative, efficient and successful political model compared to the “decadent” Western democracies.

This communicational/propaganda structure linked to the interests of the Kremlin runs parallel to the growing performance of the Russian secret services (especially in Mexico, the prelude to the United States) and powerful campaigns in favor or detriment of certain political options (according to Moscow’s interests), as well as the increase in cyberattacks, which grew by 600 % in 2021.[20]


The Russian invasion of Ukraine has denoted Russia’s present and future role in Latin America in the new geopolitical context. The role of Latin America in this crisis has once again highlighted a recurring problem: its position as a stone guest in lawsuits that it considers alien, and over which it does not exercise any control or influence. Cuba experienced this in the missile crisis in 1962 and Nicaragua in the 1980s and is repeated periodically. The ultimate cause is the weakness and division of their States and the absence of a regional governance system capable of transferring a single regional position to multilateral bodies. The disinterest of Latin American countries in global problems is deeply rooted in their idiosyncrasies. Governments and public opinion are concerned only with those issues that affect them directly and live with their backs turned to others, especially if they have nothing to do with them, such as Islamic terrorism. For most countries, foreign policy is basically a policy of regional relations, especially with border nations.

The Ukraine crisis has shown that Latin America’s heterogeneity parallels its geopolitical disunity. Countries allied to Russia (Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua) coexist with others with a less clear position, but with a certain proximity to the Kremlin (Peru, Argentina, and even Brazil), and a third group that moves silently (Mexico) or allied to the United States (Chile, Uruguay, and Colombia). As long as this situation or others like it persist, the weight of the region in the geopolitical scenario will not only be meager and secondary, with its reduced negotiating capacity but will continue to play the game of others. Thus, as long as each country continues to wage “war on its own,” there will be no possibility of influencing international conflicts, even those that directly affect them.

Concerning Russia’s prominence in Latin America, everything indicates that in the short and medium term it will decrease, except for its strategic allies whose international loneliness leads them to cling to Moscow as their lifeline. Russia, as a geopolitical and commercial partner of Latin American countries, has contributed to increasing the fragmentation of Latin America, the reprimarization of its exports, and its subordinate position vis-à-vis the great powers. In the medium term, it has an even narrower margin for action: the dynamics of Russia’s decline respond to various structural and long-term causes, related to the progressive Chinese commercial and financial hegemony, which has displaced the United States and the European Union and also leaves other emerging nations with regional interests in a peripheral position.

One conjunctural circumstance (the invasion of Ukraine) has a future impact: the sanctions on Russia and the supply crisis increase Latin America’s importance as a strategic partner of the West as well as a competitor to Russia when it comes to raw materials and energy resources. This has already been seen not only in the approach of the European Union to Latin America, looking for possible energy alternatives in the medium term (oil, gas, and green hydrogen) but in the turn of the White House regarding Venezuela, which has gone from being marginalized to being a possible supplier of oil. Finally, Putin’s authoritarian and aggressive drift nullifies Moscow as a viable alliance option for most Latin American countries.


  1. Carlos Malamud and Rogelio Núñez, “América Latina y la invasión de Ucrania: su incidencia en la economía, la geopolítica y la política interna”, Elcano Royal Institute (March 30, 2022), Centro de Estudios Estratégicos del Ejército del Perú (Lima: February 1, 2022), José Antonio Sanahuja, Pablo Stefanoni, and Francisco J. Verdes-Montenegro, “América Latina frente al 24-F ucraniano: Entre la tradición diplomática y las tensiones políticas”, in Working Document 62/2022 (2nd epoch), (Spain: Fundación Carolina, 2022),
  2. Mira Milosevic-Juaristi, “Rusia en América Latina: repercusiones para España”, in Working Document 02/2019, (Spain: Elcano Royal Institute, March 28, 2019),
  3. On the economic development of the region see: José Antonio Ocampo, “La historia y los retos del desarrollo latinoamericano”, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, (Santiago de Chile: 2012),
  4. Regarding the impact of the Cold War in the region, see: (1) L. Bethell and I. Roxborough, “The Impact of the Cold War in Latin America” in M. P. Leffler and D. S. Painter, Origins of the Cold War. An International History (Nueva York & Londres: 2005), 299-316. (2) G. Joseph, “Border Crossings and the Remaking of Latin American Cold War Studies”, The Historical Jounal (Cambridge University Press: 2009). (3) Vanni Pettiná, La Guerra Fría en América Latina (México: El Colegio de México, 2018).
  5. Esteban Actis and Bernabé Malacalza, “Las políticas exteriores de América Latina en tiempos de autonomía líquida”, NUSO No. 291 (January – February 2021), Carlos Fortín, Jorge Heine and Carlos Ominami, “Latinoamérica: no alineamiento y la segunda Guerra Fría”. Foreign Affairs Latin America, Vol. 20 No. 3 (July – September 2020), 107-115,
  6. On the presence of extra-regional actors in Latin America see: (1) Carlos Malamud, “Los actores extrarregionales en América Latina (I): China”, Elcano Royal Institute, Working Document No. 50 (November 13, 2007),, (2) Carlos Malamud, “Los actores extrarregionales en América Latina (II): Irán”. “Elcano Royal Institute, Working Document No. 124 (November 26, 2007),
  7. Armando Chaguaceda and Adriana Boersner Herrera, “Rusia en Latinoamérica: la confluencia iliberal”, London School of Economics (18 August 2022), R. Evan Ellis, The New Russian Engagement with Latin America: Strategic position, Commerce and Dreams of the Past, (US Army War College: September 23, 2015). R. Evan Ellis, “El reciente regreso de Rusia a América Latina”.
  8. Silvia Marina Rivas de Hernández, “Os intereses da Federación Rusa en América Latina como espazo estratéxico dentro dun mundo multipolar”, Gladius et Scientia. CESEG Safety Review No. 2/2020, (December 31, 2020),
  9. María Luisa Pastor Gómez, “¿Rusia realmente ha retornado a América Latina?”, In analysis document No. 09/2019 (Madrid: Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies, March 13, 2019),
  10. Mira Milosevic-Juaristi, “Mapa de la presencia e influencia de Rusia en el mundo desde el año 2000”, in Working Document 35/2020, (Spain: Real Instituto Elcano, November 20, 2020), Julia Gurganus, “Russia: playing a geopolitical game in Latin America”, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2018), game-in-latin-América-pub-76228
  11. According to UNCTAD, this country increased its trade from almost 18,000 million dollars in 2002 to 318,000 million dollars in 2020, with a volume of loans that rose between 2005 and 2020 to more than 137,000 million and investments that reached 140,000 million between 2005 and 2021. Extracted from: UNCTAD, “Informe sobre las inversiones en el mundo 2021. Invertir en la recuperación sostenible”, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Ginebra: 2021);;; Additionally, see: Néstor Santana Suárez, “¿Reprimarización en América Latina?: Efectos de la demanda china sobre el patrón exportador latinoamericano y las estructuras económicas internas (1995-2016)”, Papeles de Europa (Ediciones Complutense: 2019),
  12. Alicia Bárcena, “Efectos económicos y financieros en América Latina y el Caribe del conflicto entre la Federación de Rusia y Ucrania”, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Santiago de Chile: 2022),
  13. Detlef Nolte, “La guerra en Ucrania impacta las relaciones entre América Latina y la UE”, Latin America21 (April 14, 2022),
  14. Carlos Malamud and Rogelio Núñez, “La Cumbre de las Américas y América Latina en el nuevo escenario geopolítico”, Elcano Royal Institute (June 3, 2022),
  15. R. Evan Ellis, “El reciente regreso de Rusia a América Latina”
  16. On the Russian presence in the region see: (1) Fernando Romero Wimer, “La alianza Rusia-Venezuela durante el siglo XXI: consideraciones en torno a la cuestión militar”, in Notebooks of Mars Year 12/No. 21/2021 (Buenos Aires: University of Buenos Aires, July – December 2021), (2) Carmen Scocozza, ” El retorno del ‘Oso’ a América Latina. La política rusa en Venezuela”, in Latin American Culture, Vol. 30 No. 2/2019 (Colombia: Universidad Católica, 2019), 58-73, (3) Ana Palacio, “What Venezuela tells Europe about Russia”, Project Syndicate (February 12, 2019), (4) Rafat Ghotme, ” La presencia de Rusia en el Caribe: hacia un nuevo equilibrio del poder regional”, in Political Reflection, vol. 17, No 33/2015, (Colombia: Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, January – June 2015), 78-92, (5) Angel Saldomando, ” Las nuevas relaciones de América Latina con China y Rusia: del Big Brother al Hada Madrina”, IEEPP (Managua: February 2015),
  17. BBC, ” Rusia condona 90% de la deuda de Cuba con la Unión Soviética,” British Broadcasting Corporation News (July 5, 2014),
  18. Regarding the new world geopolitical map and the role of Russia, see: (1) Mira Milosevic-Juaristi, “Oso y dragón: el vínculo estratégico entre Rusia y China en el orden internacional post unipolar,” Elcano Royal Institute (January 4, 2019), (2) Paul Stronski and Richard Sokolsky, “The return of global Russia: an analytical framework”, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (December 14, 2017), russia-analytical-framework-pub-75003 (3) Julia Gurganus, “Russia: Playing to Geopolitics Game in Latin America”, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (May 3, 2018),
  19. Vanni Pettina, “China y Rusia aprovechan el hueco que occidente ha dejado en América Latina”, El País (August 17, 2022),
  20. María I. Puerta Riera, “Lo que nos cuenta Putin: medios rusos en América Latina”, Latinoamérica21 (August 16, 2022),


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The ideas contained in this analysis are the sole responsibility of the author, without necessarily reflecting the thoughts of the CEEEP or the Peruvian Army.

Image: CEEEP