By Fatima Romero
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at the ceremony of presentation of credentials by foreign ambassadors from 17 countries that Honduras is an “important partner” of the Russian Federation.
Putin said bilateral relations with this country would develop in various fields as he received the credentials of the Honduran ambassador, Juan Ramon Elvir Salgado.
Putin said that Honduras is “an important partner of Russia in Central America,” adding that “we will continue to develop a political dialogue with this country, expand trade and economic ties and cultural and humanitarian exchanges.”
He also said he supports Honduras’ initiative to sign an intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition of higher education degrees, “which will undoubtedly stimulate educational exchanges”.
In 2022, Honduran exports to Russia totaled US$11.6 million, a year-on-year growth of 9.2% over 2021.
Imports totaled US$159.6 million, which meant a 19.1% drop compared to the previous year, according to the Central Bank of Honduras (BCH).
The main product that Honduras imports from that market is fertilizers, but because of the war in Ukraine, the Central American country has sought to source from the United States.
RUSSIA’S RAPPROCHEMENT WITH CENTRAL AMERICA
During the recent visit to Moscow of Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada and the presidential couple’s son Laureano Ortega Murillo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Russia would receive observer status in the Central American Integration System (SICA).
The organization comprises Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
“The corresponding agreement is ready,” the Russian foreign minister assured the Russian media, adding that Moscow and Managua intend to deepen economic cooperation.
Moncada assured the Russian media Sputnik that cooperation with Russia does not threaten stability, security, and peace in Central America.
In this regard, Costa Rican Deputy Foreign Minister Christian Guillermet told Costa Rica’s ‘La Nación’ that such an agreement does not exist and that what Lavrov and Moncada are trying to do is to create confusion.
At the same time, the Ortega regime continues the persecution of opponents in Nicaragua.
“Moncada is pretending that he influences SICA, that he is going there (Moscow) on behalf of SICA, but Moncada cannot do that,” the deputy minister commented.
The deputy foreign minister said that weeks ago, in a preparatory meeting, the secretary general of SICA, Werner Vargas, raised the pending discussion of Russia’s entry. Still, Guatemala and Costa Rica opposed its inclusion.
With information from Bloomberg