WASHINGTON (VR) — The West and the United States and Europe perceived Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s current tour of Cuba, Nicaragua, Peru and Chile as a response to the large American presence in eastern Europe and U.S. meddling in Ukraine, which has always been regarded as part of Russia's sphere of influence, according to Alex Sanchez, a Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs based in Washington. Sanchez added, Lavrov’s trip to Latin America was regarded as a way for Moscow to demonstrate now Russia can be aggressive and expand its foreign policy and its sphere of influence historically regarded as in Washington's backyard.
"And I have to just point out,” Sanchez said that “Russia has been paying attention to Latin America and the Caribbean more and more in recent years. For example, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, he was in Peru actually in October or November. He went to Brazil as well and also to Peru. So Peru, I will say, in the past couple of years, Peru has had quite a bit of attention from Russia."According to Sanchez, Cuba and Nicaragua, the latter country, now under the [Daniel] Ortega presidency, have had a history of tensions with the US, but countries such as Peru and Chile have always been more neutral, although their foreign policies have tended toward U.S. appeasement. And he added, this is a big part of the reason Lavrov’s visit to Chile specially was unsettling to Washington.
Radio VR's Rustem Safronov emphasized, in trips such as the recent one by Lavrov Russia has worked to achieve a “multipolar world” as opposed to a U.S. centric one.Russia has a longstanding relationship with the Peruvians, and may be in talks with the Lima government to supply military equipment, including Russian tanks. Peru needs the equipment to fight a war on drugs in the country.