Russian Foreign Minister to Appear at U.N. After Americas Tour

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be visiting the United Nations this month to chair a Security Council meeting. The event is a key part of Russia’s monthlong presidency of the Council.

But before he arrives, Lavrov has to make sure he gets the visas he needs. According to TASS, Moscow has yet to receive a single visa for Lavrov’s travel.

1. Brazil

After a week of meetings with traditional Latin American allies like Venezuela and Cuba, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to appear at the U.N. He will speak in front of the Security Council as Russia assumes the rotating chairmanship of the organization.

Lavrov’s tour, which began on Monday with Brazil’s leftist president, Lula da Silva, was a chance for the Kremlin to demonstrate its new interest in the region as it attempts to use the United States and NATO to weaken its support for Ukraine. The strategy is not new, but has become a priority in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

During the tour, the Russian foreign ministry emphasized that Lavrov was seeking to strengthen political, cultural and economic ties with Latin America. But his speeches were a stark reminder of the Kremlin’s renewed focus on the region, which Russia sees as a contested space and where it can challenge the United States and Europe.

2. Venezuela

After a tour of Latin America that has seen Russia seek to bolster support for its war in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to appear at the U.N. on Wednesday.

While Venezuela’s oil industry is one of the world’s largest, its collapsed economy has left the country unable to diversify away from its energy resources. Analysts say it could take an investment package worth billions of dollars to revive the shattered economy.

Meanwhile, human rights defenders and opposition leaders were subjected to intimidation, arbitrary detention and torture as part of a government policy of repression. A UN fact-finding mission and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor found systemic impunity in the country’s repression.

Moreover, broad sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies, which have made it harder for Venezuelans to get basic food, medicine and other essentials, are a major factor in fueling the country’s humanitarian crisis, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Venezuela Elizabeth Douhan. Her report warns of an “unavoidable risk to the health and lives of all those who are affected by the crisis.”

3. Nicaragua

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov plans to travel to the United Nations after his five-day tour of Latin America. His trip reflects Moscow’s desire to use the region as a platform to provoke the United States and weaken support for Ukraine in the war launched by Russia.

Nicaragua, a Central American country bordering Mexico, is ruled by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Its economy was once devastated by the Sandinista regime’s economic policies, but began free market reforms in 1991. It has since made major progress in reducing inflation and cutting foreign debt.

Despite the government’s human rights record, it is still popular among its people. The Sandinistas have held on to power by rebuffing U.S. and European pressure to end repression, torture, and violence against opponents.

The Biden administration has tried a number of strategies to pressure the Sandinistas. But they’ve failed to persuade President Ortega or his allies, including Defense Minister Alexander Bukele and Attorney General Rosario Murillo. The EU has also imposed targeted sanctions against 14 Nicaraguans, including the vice president and his daughter.

4. Cuba

After a five-day tour of Latin America, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will appear at the U.N., where he plans to speak about women and peace. His trip aims to strengthen political, cultural and economic ties between Moscow and Latin America.

As part of the tour, a traditional Mola tapestry from Panama will be displayed in the General Assembly Lobby. The tour will also focus on Security Council resolution 1325, which emphasizes the critical role that women play in conflict prevention and resolution.

The Russia-Ukraine war has created geopolitical tensions that the Kremlin is using to instigate rifts with Latin American countries, especially Brazil and Venezuela, which have shown support for Ukraine.

Russia’s diplomats have often made posturing trips to the region, seeking a platform to spin falsehoods about the United States and undermine the Western alliance. The Russian government’s recent visit to Brazil and President Lula’s comments about Ukraine drew attention from the United States, prompting a diplomatic rift that exemplifies the kind of divisions Russia seeks to instigate in the region.

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