On November 30, 2015, on the sidelines of the United Nation COP21 Climate Change Summit in Paris, the Presidents of Peru and Russia signed an agreement establishing a strategic partnership. The accompanying joint declaration included expanded cooperation in defense, counternarcotic activities, development, next year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, and the challenge that had ostensibly brought both to Paris—climate change.
The accord is one example of Russian President Vladimir Putin seeking to advance the nation’s position in Latin America, and arguably, to demonstrate to his own people that his government is returning Russia to a position of strength and greatness as a major global actor. The agreement is consistent with Russia’s surprising September 2015 offer to sell $480 million worth of new Sukhoi fighter aircraft to the bankrupt and crumbling regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. Both highlight Russia’s significant loss of strategic position in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past year, and its attempt to compensate for its increasing marginalization in the region.
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