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Borrell Sees Ukrainian Conflict as ‘Good Occasion’ for Enhancing EU-Latin America Ties

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine provides a “good occasion” for strengthening ties between Latin America countries and the European Union, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.

“We have to engage more with Latin America and this war is a good occasion for that. This war is a good occasion to show the trans-Atlantic relationship is not just the North-Atlantic relationship,” Borrell said during a launch of an event by the Atlantic Council.

Top EU diplomat also expressed the hope that the countries of Latin America and the EU would continue strengthening their political relations adding that from the financial point of view the bloc has already established an “overwhelming” presence in the region.

“Our firms have been putting a lot of capital in Latin America. Our presence as investors is overwhelming. But our political focus on Latin America is not that big as we need it and I hope that in next October, in Argentina we will continue working on building a stronger relationship with Europe,” Borrell added.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces. In response, Western countries and their allies have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.

On August 18, Spanish newspaper El Pais, citing a document prepared by the EU diplomatic service and sent to the foreign ministers of EU countries, reported that the bloc is concerned about the growing influence of Russia and China in Latin America, and is preparing a set of countermeasures to regain its leading positions in the region.

According to the document, the measures will include expanding multilateral cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean countries by holding a summit in the second half of 2023 and providing an $8.1 billion worth investment package.

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