It is not the first time that Alberto Fernández’s statements on foreign policy generates anger and discomfort in third countries. It happened when she traveled to Russia and sought to lend a hand to Putin. Also with ambivalent positions towards Venezuela.
Now the turn was, neither more nor less, what with china. During an interview with the German news channel Deutsche Welle (DW), the driver asked: “Better with Europe than with China, President?”. To which Alberto Fernández replied: “Yes”.
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This statement comes in the midst of a continuous rapprochement between Argentina and China, even while the Foreign Ministry organizes together with the embassy in Beijing a trip by Santiago Cafiero to negotiate more agreements commercial.
Some diplomats who currently hold a position in the Palacio San Martín sought to downplay this comparison. But consulted by TNothers showed his disagreement with these gestures that can turn against you at key moments.
Better Europe when there is more and more relationship with China
Argentina is in a frank deepening of the trade and economic relations with China. Alberto Fernández traveled to Beijing in February, signed the country’s adherence to the new so-called Silk Road and in the coming weeks Santiago Cafiero could travel, accompanied by the Argentine ambassador Sabino Vaca Narvaja.
In this context, when asked by the DW journalist, the Argentine president explained that “better with Europe” than with the Asian giant “Because China is a great power but has no cultural ties strong with Latin America, it has no history in the region”.
Undeniably, the Chinese cultural influence in the region is less than the European, but in commercial matters Argentina bets a lot on Asia. The process to build the country’s fourth nuclear power plant with Chinese funds is underway and there are at least 14 specific investment projects in infrastructure, among others.
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In Germany there is an incipient energy market as a result of the dependence that the European giant has on Russia. There, Argentina emerges as a possible seller of natural gas, although as Alberto Fernández himself admitted, the gas pipeline projects in the country “need financing”.
The “gateway” to Russia that angered the United States
Before visiting Xi Jinping in China, Alberto Fernández spent the first days of February by Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin. During the conference with the Russian president he had two comments that did not go down well in Washington, just as Argentina was closing its agreement with the IMF.
“Argentina must leave the great dependency it has on the United States and the Fund,” said Alberto Fernández in Moscow. US State Department officials assigned to the region they were disoriented.
The newly arrived US ambassador, Marc Stanley, and the Argentine representative in Washington, Jorge Argüello, had to intervene to calm the waters and explain the situation.
It happens that in that same meeting Alberto Fernández extended a hand to Moscow saying that “Argentina has to be the gateway for Russia to enter Latin America.”
In the recent interview with D.W. in Germany the President himself defended himself, said that at that time “the war did not exist” and that the phrase was related to the sale of Sputnik vaccines. It was the closest antecedent to contradictions in foreign policy.
The emblematic case of Venezuela
Perhaps the most paradoxical situation is reflected in the oil country governed by Nicolás Maduro. Here, the manifest internal differences of the Front of All affects foreign policy.
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“Many believe that foreign policy is the continuation of domestic policy, but this is not the case,” he firmly stressed before TN The Embassador Ricardo Lagorioand then reaffirm: “You cannot project the internalyou cannot have the comings and goings that there are in Argentina”.
Statements about Venezuela many times were not in line with the course adopted in foreign policy. The beginning of the administration was one of the moments in which it became clearer when Argentina presented the report denouncing the violation of human rights at the UN, but at the OAS the position was abstained.
In the middle was Alberto Fernández, trying to balance an internship that at that time was premature but would gain strength inside his government. The President explained at that time that Argentina “He made the statement that he always does”.
On the one hand, over the last two years Alberto Fernández accompanied the claims raised by Michelle Bachelet -one of the main denouncers in humanitarian matters against Venezuela-, but, at the same time, admitted that he wanted to recover “full diplomatic ties” with Maduro.