Argentine President Alberto Fernández affirmed this Saturday that his recent visit to Russia and China had no intention of affecting his country’s relations with the United States, a country with which his government wishes to have a “mature” bond.
“We believe that we should have a mature, frank, sincere relationship with the United States, one of mutual respect. We did not do these things (the trip to China and Russia) thinking of harming someone. We want to have that same relationship with Russia, China, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, with Europe, and with all the countries that are linked to Argentina,” said the Argentine president in radio statements.
Fernandez traveled between February 2 and 6 to Russia and China, where he met with presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, a tour whose opportunity was questioned by some Argentine media, at a time when Argentina seeks to finish closing all the terms of a debt refinancing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a process in which the United States, the organization’s largest shareholder, plays a fundamental role.
“I don’t know why this raised so much dust and why traveling to Russia and China means that we want to have a bad relationship, for example, with the United States. I don’t know what one thing has to do with the other,” Fernández said. in statements to Radio 10.
The Argentine president pointed out that the world is “multilateral” and “obliges” to have “mature and respectful” relations with all countries, and that the trip to Russia and China was aimed at “strengthening” trade and financial ties.
IMF AND SUBSIDIES
Fernandez stressed that just as the government of Donald Trump (2017-2021) “facilitated” with his vote in the IMF that in 2018 the agency granted Argentina a credit for 44.2 billion dollars “excessive” and “very harmful” for the South American country, “at this moment the North American government, when the time came to find a way out of the problem, accompanied it with its vote”.
On January 28, the Fernández Government and the IMF announced a principle of understanding with a view to closing a definitive agreement to refinance the loan granted in 2018.
Once all the terms of the agreement are closed, the Executive will send the pact to parliament for approval, which must also receive the approval of the IMF board.
This Saturday, Fernández was confident that the opposition will give the agreement its positive vote in Parliament.
The announced principle of understanding includes a commitment to reduce Argentina’s fiscal deficit and the heavy state subsidies that fatten public spending.
In this sense, the Fernández government has already taken steps to reduce subsidies for electricity consumption and is now proposing to do so with respect to subsidies for passenger transport by bus in the Argentine capital and its outskirts, a possibility that the capital’s government, headed by the opposition Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, rejects.
Fernandez said that other areas of the country do not receive these subsidies and that the city of Buenos Aires, as it is autonomous, must “finance itself.