WASHINGTON’S BACKYARD? Russia to strengthen relations with the Caribbean

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MOSCOW – Russia is interested in strengthening collaboration with the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry published on the occasion of Caricom Day that is celebrated this July 1.

“Russia aims to strengthen cooperation in priority areas such as contribution to sustainable development, including supplies to the Caribbean countries of specialized medical equipment, help to cope with the consequences of natural disasters, interaction in the training of professionals for diplomatic entities and law enforcement agencies,” the text says.

It also highlights the importance of cooperation for emergency services in the Caribbean countries, the intensification of educational, tourism, cultural and humanitarian exchanges, and the promotion of joint economic initiatives and business projects.

The text recalls that in 2010 Russia and CARICOM signed a memorandum of understanding on the creation of a mechanism for political dialogue and cooperation.

Since then, relations between Russia and CARICOM are developing “safely” and political dialogue is also intensifying.

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In addition, the two parties continue to work on agreements on the bases of relations, as well as on the conditions for the abolition of visa formalities.

“The unifying basis of our interaction with CARICOM continues to be the common commitment to the principles of multilateralism in international affairs, the central coordinating role of the UN, and compliance with the norms of international law,” the note highlights.

The communiqué highlights Russia’s readiness to move towards “the intensification of multidimensional cooperation with the member countries of the Caricom according to principles of friendship, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.”

This comes as back in May the XVIII Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) expressed its concern for actions against regional peace and security, in a statement issued in the Cuban capital.

“We express our concern for the aggressive escalation against Our America, the actions against regional peace and security, especially the threats of the use of force against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” the document signed by the foreign ministers and heads of delegations of the member countries of the ALBA-TCP.

The document calls for the support of the initiative of the Montevideo Mechanism, composed of Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia and CARICOM, which seeks to preserve peace in Venezuela based on the principles of non-intervention in internal affairs, the sovereign equality of States and the peaceful solution of controversies.

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