Argentine President Fernández To Visit Russia and China for Meetings with Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
Jan. 16, 2022 (EIRNS)—Argentina’s presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti announced Jan. 14 that prior to arriving in Beijing on Feb. 4, where he will attend the opening of the Winter Olympics and meet with President Xi Jinping, President Alberto Fernández will first stop in Moscow for 48 hours, where he will meet with Vladimir Putin on Feb. 3. Previously, Fernández had been going to have a meeting with Putin in Beijing on the sidelines of the Olympics, but now a meeting in Moscow will allow for more in-depth discussion. Putin will also subsequently be traveling to Beijing where he will meet with Xi. Fernández’s meeting with President Putin has been pending for some time but was always contingent on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. In their Moscow meeting, they are scheduled to discuss strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership signed in 2014 during the presidency of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, with special emphasis on further cooperation on vaccine production—Argentina produces the Sputnik V vaccine domestically—science and technology, and future investments, Telam reported Jan. 14.
Fernández spoke with Putin a few times last year by videoconference or in phone calls, and when they spoke last November, they agreed they would meet personally as soon as the pandemic permitted. On Dec. 7, Fernández met with in Buenos Aires with representatives of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which produces the Sputnik V vaccine, and with a group of top-level Russian businessmen and banking officials to discuss further cooperation and investment plans.
While the local media have devoted a lot of chatter as to whether his trip to China will create problems with the U.S. in the middle of his government’s negotiations with the IMF, Fernández dismisses the idea as nonsense. In comments to the Jan. 14 issue of Infobae, he stated that his government’s foreign affairs “are guided by multilateralism. This assumes not aligning with anyone and doing what is most convenient for the country. When I meet with Biden, I don’t oppose China. When I meet with Xi Jinping, I don’t oppose the U.S. And when I meet with Putin, I’m not confronting Europe, China or the U.S.A.” He went on: “Every day I’m increasingly struck by the media’s simplification, when it comes to reading reality.”