Ecuador’s military agreement with the USA leads to tensions with Russia

Ecuador’s Weapon Exchange with the United States Sends Russian Ambassador into Diplomatic Fury

Ecuador is currently facing a delicate situation with Russia after announcing its intention to send outdated Russian weapons to the United States in exchange for more modern military equipment. President Daniel Noboa, who took office last November, claims that the move is necessary for strengthening internal security as Ecuador battles organized crime and violence. However, this decision did not sit well with the Kremlin, which accuses Quito of violating contracts signed during the purchase of these weapons and succumbing to pressure from Washington.

Ecuador’s plan to get rid of Russian weapons began in December 2023 when Noboa announced that he intended to exchange “Ukrainian and Russian scrap” for “U.S. $200 million in modern equipment.” The agreement was reached by his government with the USA, and among the war artifacts that must be handed over are helicopters, rocket launch systems, and anti-aircraft cannons, all acquired by Ecuador from Russia in the 1990s and deemed unusable according to the government.

Russia’s ambassador in Quito, Vladimir Sprinchan, was the first Kremlin representative to speak out against sending Russian weapons to the United States. Moscow believes that such weapons may still be functional and could be sent to Ukraine if acquired by Washington. The diplomatic tension caused by this arms exchange agreement between Ecuador and the USA has already started causing negative commercial repercussions for South America this week when Russia decided through its veterinary surveillance service to impose several restrictions on importing Ecuadorian bananas due to an alleged detection of a “devastating insect” in fruit imported from Ecuador. This measure came into effect on Friday (9) after suspending authorization for five Ecuadorian banana exporting companies since Monday (5). Shortly afterward, it also applied similar measures to some flowers imported from Ecuador as well.

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