DOI: 10.17721/2521-1706.2019.07.48-64

Oleg Kondratenko

Dr.hab. (Political Sciences), Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow of the Research Department of Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine

Abstract

The policy and implementation of geostrategy of the Russian Federation in relation to the countries of the Latin-Caribbean region are considered. Russia is increasingly trying to demonstrate the status of a strategic partner with respect to Latin American Caribbean countries through the conclusion of various partnership agreements. On this basis, since the 2000s, the Russian Federation has sought to regain its influence in those Latin American countries that were the traditional sphere of presence of the USSR during the Cold War. It has been established that Russia is trying to gain favour among Latin American countries by establishing economic relations, mainly of a commercial nature. The Russian Federation has significant contracts for the supply of weapons to Latin American countries and is involved in the implementation of a number of energy projects, including the construction of nuclear power plants. Russia is also trying to demonstrate its presence in the region through the manoeuvres of its long-range strategic aviation and naval forces. At the same time, Russia is resorting to the support of bankrupt Latin American regimes such as the government of N. Maduro in Venezuela. All this has only exacerbated the crisis in Venezuela and its autocratic rule and led to a double rule in the country.

However, Russia risks being pushed out of the region by China and the United States, which consider Latin America as a proving ground for a strategy of geo-economic “conquest”. The key countries for implementing the strategy of restoring Russia’s presence in the region are: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and partly Brazil. The Russian Federation views these countries as strategic partners and a foothold for the further expansion of geopolitical and geo-economic influence in Latin America, as well as restrictions in the region of US influence. Against the backdrop of isolated manoeuvres by the Russian Air Force and the Navy, Moscow makes periodic statements about the rebuilding of former Soviet military bases in Latin American countries. However, such rhetoric of the Russian Federation can be regarded more as geopolitical PR in order to represent the virtual grandeur of Russia.

Key words: Russian Federation, geopolitics, geostrategy, geopolitical influence, Latin Caribbean America, Latin America.

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