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Visit of Morales to Moscow: New Horizons for Russian-Bolivian Relations

From the “heart” of South America, as part of the opening of the World Cup, Russia was visited on a working visit by the president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. On the 13th of June, Vladimir Putin began accepting politicians in the Kremlin who came to attend the matches of the main sporting event of the planet. Among them was the charismatic Bolivian leader Evo Morales Ayma. For Morales this working trip was the second visit to Russia. Will the meeting of the leaders of Russia and Bolivia give a new impetus to the development of bilateral relations between states? What did the Bolivian president manage to do in the framework of this visit? And how will this trip affect the regional configuration?

This time the visit of the Bolivian president to Russia was prepared for a few months, and despite its short duration, from the 13th to the 14th of June, Evo Morales was able to carry out a rich program. On the 13th of June, a long-awaited meeting of the two leaders was held. In the framework of a lengthy conversation, Morales repeatedly supported Russia’s presence in the Latin American region. As Morales believes, geopolitical indicators show Russia’s component in Latin America is very important. In addition, the Bolivian leader stressed his support for Vladimir Putin in “searching for multipolarity in the world”.

The presidents of the two countries expressed concern over the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, supported efforts to resolve the conflict points politically, and also noted these measures in a joint statement following the talks between Vladimir Putin and Evo Morales. The two leaders stressed the need to consolidate international efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space. The parties also agreed to cooperate within the framework of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was emphasized in the aforementioned statement.

The Bolivian president also “attacked” with sharp criticism of Colombia’s intention to become an NATO’s global partner. According to Morales, this will lead to the resolution of conflicts through military action and intervention in all countries of Latin America. The Bolivian leader at the same time believes that in any case, the peoples of all countries must decide for themselves whether to join them in the NATO or not. However, the representatives of the “left” camp of Latin America, according to the Bolivian president, are “fighting” for the continent without military conflicts and for social justice, for without these postulates no peace can be guaranteed.

Morales’ words symbolized the UN Security Council, which he called a “danger council” because international agreements, including those approved by the Security Council, are not respected. After the meeting with the Russian leader, the Bolivian president developed this thesis in the framework of the discussion of the international club “Valdai”. He stressed that today it is a council of danger or uncertainty, there are no respect for the rights of the participants in the UN member countries. The United Nations was founded for peace, but why is this organization being used today? To promote their interests, nothing is respected and respected. The Bolivian leader believes that the UN Security Council should work on the principle that “the voice of each country has been heard”. After all, “the UN and other structures ultimately represent the peoples”.

During the working visit of Evo Morales, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia and the Ministry of Mining and Metallurgical Industries of Bolivia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of geology. The signing ceremony was attended by the Bolivian president.

According to the text of the Memorandum, the parties intend to develop mutually beneficial cooperation in regional geology and compilation of geological maps, investigation and development of mineral resources, forecasting and mineralogical studies, and the use of geophysical methods for the discovery of mineral deposits and groundwater.

In addition, Bolivia and Russia intend to carry out mineral reserves expertise, review technical projects for the development of mineral deposits, analyze and process geological information, to exchange geological maps and geological data bases, to provide organizational support in the training of professional personnel, and training of personnel.

For a short two days of working visit, the Bolivian leader also managed to visit the representative office of the “Gazprom”, which has been successfully working in Bolivia for several years, and will discuss the further development of bilateral relations in the energy sector. The famous automobile company “UAZ” also hosted Evo Morales. An exhibition of new models of the Russian automotive industry operating on alternative fuel sources was organized. And, of course, as one of the main football fans of Bolivia, Evo Morales visited the first opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The Bolivian leader, together with Vladimir Putin, “was rooting” for the Russian team, and after the match he admired the organization of the World Cup in Russia, which, as he says, meets the highest level of training.

In conclusion, the president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia expressed gratitude to the president of the Russian Federation, Putin, for the warm welcome extended to him during his stay in Russia, and invited him to visit Bolivia shortly.

As demonstrated by Morales’ working visit to Moscow, for Russia, Bolivia remains a promising strategic partner in the Latin American region. Moscow and La Paz adhere to close or coinciding positions on key issues of international relations, are interested in establishing effective cooperation in order to overcome new challenges and threats, including illicit drug trafficking, arms smuggling, transnational organized crime. Later, the leaders of the two countries promised to pay special attention to the issues of building up Russian-Bolivian cooperation in political, trade-economic, military-technical and humanitarian spheres. Whether Russia will be able to maintain its geopolitical balance and international peace in the region of Latin America in the conditions of the onslaught of imperialism will show time. However, such partners with similar points of view on a number of issues on the international agenda, like Bolivia, can inspire confidence in a stable future.

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