The main issue of the discussion was the enhancement of economic cooperation and financial interaction, including in conditions of sanctions restrictions.
Mutually beneficial cooperation
The First Deputy
Chairman of the State Duma Alexander Zhukov
Alexander Dmitrievich noted in his speech that Russia’s cooperation with Latin American countries “has always been built only on the principles of mutual benefit, contrary to the relations of Latin American countries with former world hegemons.”
“In recent years, the trade turnover between our country and Latin American countries has increased by about a quarter and now amounts almost to $20 billion,” stressed Alexander Zhukov. According to him, the potential for economic cooperation between Russia and Latin American countries is much higher.
Alexander Zhukov is convinced that it is important to resolve logistics issues to develop the potential. “We should discuss issues related to the logistics of supplying goods in the conditions when numerous sanctions make Russia leave European markets and impede our trade relations with Latin American countries. Establishing logistics is an extremely important issue of our economic relations,” he said.
The President of the Chamber of Senators of the National Congress of Paraguay Silvio Adalberto Ovelar Benítez noted the fact that Russia and Paraguay had been cooperating since 1909. “We have a very long diplomatic history and many interesting events. It is impossible to talk about our relations without mentioning the invaluable contribution of Russian immigrants who came to our country in the 1920s. These are brave people who left their mark on the history of our country, art, and science,” he emphasized.
Formation of a “manifesto for a common future”
American continent could make a significant contribution to the formation of the so-called “manifesto for a common future”, as said the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Alexander Babakov
Alexander Mikhailovich .
“I absolutely agree that we should find not only ways for trade operations, but also for technology transfer. There is every opportunity here to bring the topic of economic sovereignty to a practical level. This will involve both Russia and our colleagues from the continent,” emphasized Alexander Babakov.
Speaking about the role of BRICS, he recalled that the BRICS member states did not unite against any other state, but “in the interests of those states that want to join so that we live better and our nations will see it.”
Suárez, the head of the Commission on Economic Affairs of the National Assembly
of People's Power of Cuba, spoke about cooperation between Russia and Cuba. “In 2023, exchanges and visits between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Cuba at the parliamentary level were significant. For example, there was an official visit of the Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin
Vyacheslav Victorovich The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the eighth convocation. Elected in single mandate constituency № 163 (Saratov constituency - Saratov Oblast) to Cuba. There was a large delegation of parliamentarians with him. The agenda was intense: together with the Cuban side, six relevant working groups were created to address all the important issues of strategic bilateral cooperation in the main areas of our economies. These are finance, investment, agriculture, tourism, energy, education and legislation,” he said.
“We are convinced that a new world order is being built, and Russia is one of the pillars of this order, one of the main pillars that contribute to the development of multilateral approaches and establishment of mutually beneficial relations,” emphasized the Special Representative of the President of Nicaragua for Russian Affairs Laureano Ortega Murillo.
The Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Andrey Savinykh urged the Latin American parliamentarians to pay attention to the experience of the Parliamentary Assembly. “We primarily pay attention to the balanced development of industry, technology exchange, joint support for the educational complex, and the higher education system. Our cooperation is not aimed at making profit, but primarily aimed at developing human potential,” he emphasized.
The Chairman of the Committee on Financial Market Anatoly Aksakov
Anatoly Gennadievich spoke about the prospects for financial cooperation between Russia and the countries of the region. In his opinion, it is necessary to more actively develop banking cooperation: Anatoly Aksakov noted the fact that following the imposition of Western sanctions against Russia, a number of banks in Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Bolivia opened special correspondent accounts to continue cooperation with Russian banks. Russian banks are ready to open such accounts in banking institutions in other countries in the region.
Anatoly Aksakov also noted that the Russian financial system turned out to be strong enough to withstand Western sanctions. “The results of our banking system are interesting: the loan portfolio grew by 20%, bank capitals increased by 11%,” said the member of the State Duma. Such positive dynamics mean that the financial system has proven to be stable, as he explained.
The parliamentarian also said that the Central Bank created a worthy Russian analogue of the SWIFT system, which in many respects is better than the Western system. The Chairman of the Committee called on Latin American countries to join it to have more options for interaction.
Russia is studying the issue of organizing sea transportations to Latin America and the Caribbean region, according to the Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Dmitry Volvach.
“We see potential in strengthening our cooperative ties in machine building industry. Automotive and helicopter manufacturing are those things that Russia is famous for, and that is well known in the region. Such brands as Lada, Kamaz, GAZ, UAZ are indeed global brands that have been used in Latin American countries. We see potential for growth through cooperation, through the creation of service centers, and training of specialists,” said the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexey Gruzdev.
The representative of the Ministry emphasized that Russia “is interested in transferring its competencies, knowledge and experience in the field of mechanical engineering to the countries of the Latin American region”.
The Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy Maxim Topilin Topilin
Maxim Anatolievich stressed that Russia, as a large economy, had been predicted to have a catastrophic decline due to sanctions pressure, but the Western plans failed. According to the member of the State Duma, the restrictions gave impetus to the development of many areas of the domestic economy, such as IT and aircraft manufacturing.
Addressing the parliamentarians from Latin American countries, Maxim Topilin called for increasing the volume of bilateral cooperation. Thus, he invited the countries of the region to consider the issue of concluding agreements with Russia on avoidance of double taxation and on mutual protection of investments.
The Chairman of the Committee on Industry and Trade Vladimir Gutenev
Vladimir Vladimirovich said that “the most interesting field of cooperation is the development of natural resources in Latin America.” “It should be noted that compared to 2019, in 2020 we added 35% to trade turnover, and in 2021 another 10%. In total, 45% by 2019. Even sanctions pressure and threats are not able to stop this trend,” he emphasized.
“Our world lives in very troubled times. This is happening partly due to the economic situation, partly due to the political sphere. I think that here we can draw the first fundamental conclusion: the conclusion is that we cannot live without creating a new world order. And this interparliamentary conference plays a huge role in this regard,” emphasized Jesús Germán Faría Tortosa, the member of the National Assembly of Venezuela “Russia is again becoming a stronghold of the future, a bulwark of the development of all states, which will help us achieve prosperity. A real battle is being waged against the United States of America, against NATO, and we in Venezuela fully support Russia in this fight for our freedom,” he stressed.
On September 29 — October 2, the First International Parliamentary Conference
“Russia – Latin America” is being held in Moscow at the initiative of the State
Duma. More than 200 participants, including parliamentarians from different
countries of Latin America and the Caribbean Region, representatives of the expert community, public figures and diplomats are expected to take part in the Conference. They plan to discuss with their Russian colleagues relevant issues
of the international parliamentary agenda.
On Friday, September 29, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin addressed the Conference participants.
The following round tables will be held as part of the events of the Conference:
- Equal and mutually beneficial economic cooperation: role of the parliaments
- Development of humanitarian ties between Russia and Latin America: contribution of the parliaments
- Just multipolar world: role of the parliamentary diplomacy
- Security for all: position of the parliaments
On October 2, the plenary session of the International Parliamentary Conference “Russia – Latin America” will be held at the State Duma (the Pillar Hall of the House of the Unions) on the topic “Cooperation for a just world for all”.