October 22 marks the 136th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Argentina; bilateral ties have long and solid roots. Today Buenos Aires is one of Moscow’s priority partners in Latin America. By the memorable date, the “LACRUS” team decided to recall the main steps towards the establishment of Russian-Argentinean interaction.
In 1866, the first non-staff consulate of Russia was established in the Argentine capital. Nevertheless, officially diplomatic relations between Russia and Argentina were established on October 22 (according to the new style – November 3), 1885. Russian-Argentinean interaction was suspended after October 1917, but resumed after the end of World War II – in 1946.
Consular relations between the two countries were established on June 27 (according to the new style – July 9), 1866. In December 1991, the Argentine government recognized Russia as the successor state of the USSR. In 2008, the Russian-Argentinean bonds acquired the character of a strategic partnership, since 2015 – a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Today, a political dialogue is actively developing and maintaining between Moscow and Buenos Aires. It is based on the consonance or similarity of the positions of the two countries on the main topics of the international agenda. Russia and Argentina advocate their resolution on the principles of multilateralism, openness, predictability, the rule of international law, as well as strengthening the central role of the UN in world affairs.
Russian-Argentinean interaction is characterized by positive dynamics of political contacts at the highest and high levels. Argentine presidents visited Russia in 1986 (Raúl Alfonsín), 1990 and 1998 (Carlos Menem), 2008, 2013 and 2015. (Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner) and in 2018 (Mauricio Macri).
In 2008, following the visit of Cristina Kirchner (Spanish – Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner), a Joint Statement was signed on building strategic partnership relations between the two countries. In 2013, Christina Kirchner took part in the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg. On April 23, 2015, following the talks between Christina Kirchner and Vladimir Putin, a number of documents were signed aimed at developing economic, military and cultural cooperation between the two countries. The leaders of both states also adopted a Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Russian-Argentine Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
On September 5, 2016, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou (China), Vladimir Putin held his first meeting with former President of the Argentine Republic Mauricio Macri. After that, Macri visited the Russian capital in 2018. Following his visit, on January 22-23, 2018, a Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the Argentine Republic on Strategic Foreign Policy Dialogue was signed. On July 26, 2018, the Russian leader met with the Argentine President on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg (South Africa).
Russian presidents have visited Argentina three times: in 2010, 2014 and 2018. In April 2010, the former head of state of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev visited Argentina. Following his visit, a Joint Statement was signed, as well as a number of bilateral documents. On July 12, 2014, Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to the Argentine capital. Following the talks with Christina Kirchner, a package of bilateral documents was signed. In January 2018, the Russian leader took part in the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires and paid an official visit to Argentina. In addition, meetings of the heads of the foreign affairs agencies are held on a regular basis.
Argentine representatives regularly participate in major international events held in Russia in various directions, including the Moscow Conference on International Security, the International Meeting of High Representatives in charge of security issues, the Army International Military-Technical Forum, the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, the St. Petersburg International Legal forum, etc.
Argentina is one of the leading trade and economic partners of Russia in Latin America. Although trade between Argentina and Russia fell by 25% amid the 2020 pandemic, both sides hope that the situation will change. In 2018, record numbers and growth were recorded, and this indicator remained in 2019. In January-November 2018, the volume of mutual trade increased compared to the same period in 2017 by 36.1% and amounted to $1.12 billion, Russian exports grew by 78.2% to $363.7 million (due to an increase in supplies of petroleum products), and imports from Argentina – by 22.2% to $759.2 million (due to an increase in purchases of a number of agricultural products).
Russian exports to Argentina are dominated by supplies of energy carriers, mineral fertilizers, chemical products, metals; in the structure of imports – fruits, peanuts, tobacco, dairy products, wine, and soybeans. Regular meetings of the Intergovernmental Russian-Argentine Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation are held. Russia has the “Russia-Argentina” Council of Entrepreneurs, which unites representatives of Russian business interested in building up ties with Argentina. In turn, in Argentina its analogue is successfully functioning – the Council of Entrepreneurs “Argentina-Russia”. Entrepreneurs’ council forums are organized on a rotational basis.
Do not forget that Argentina has become a “second homeland” for tens of thousands of immigrants from Russia who associate themselves with the Russian language and culture. The Coordination Council of Compatriots (CCC) operates on the territory of the Latin American country. With the support of the Mayor’s Office of Buenos Aires, the “Immortal Regiment” has been held annually since 2016. In addition, since 2009 in the Argentine capital, the forces of compatriots have been holding the Festival of Slavic Culture “Mother Russia” (also known as “Buenos Aires celebrates Russia”).