Morales Asks Putin for Russia to Return to Latin America “Strongly”

LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales revealed Sunday that he asked Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to have Moscow return “strongly” to Latin America in the meeting that the pair held in Caracas last Friday.

Morales made the confirmation after casting his vote in the regional and municipal elections in Villa 14 de Septiembre, located in the Chapare region in central Cochabamba province, the president’s political bastion.

“Relations with Russia have always been good. I asked in this meeting with the Russian prime minister for there to be a greater Russian presence in Latin America, for Russia to return strongly to Latin America,” Morales told reporters.

The president said that he asked Putin for a “relaunching” of bilateral relations with Bolivia in the diplomatic, commercial, investment and cooperation spheres.

Within that framework, he said that a delegation of Bolivian ministers will travel to Moscow from April 25-28 to begin negotiations about future Russian investment in Bolivia in the energy sector.

On their trip, the minister also will seek to seal the deal on the $100 million loan requested by the Morales government to outfit and modernize the country’s armed forces and for the purchase of a new presidential jet.

The Bolivian delegation will also discuss the offering by the government of Dmitri Medvedev to build in central Bolivia an international airport and a maintenance center for Russian-made aircraft that fly in South America, a project that will require an investment of $5 million.

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune

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