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CNN: Ecuadorian president rejects sending US military supplies bound for Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 23, 2024 11:38 AM 2 min read
The President of the Republic of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, during the Spain-Ecuador business meeting at the headquarters of the CEOE, on Jan. 25, 2024, in Madrid, Spain. (Carlos Lujan/Europa Press via Getty Images)
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Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa confirmed to CNN Espanol that he rejected the previous decision of his government to send the U.S. old military equipment for use in Ukraine following a backlash from Russia.

The Ecuadorian government announced in January that it would send what it called "Ukrainian and Russian scrap metal" to the U.S. in exchange for modern equipment worth $200 million.

Washington said it planned to transfer the arms to Ukraine, followed by Moscow condemning Ecuador’s decision and limiting banana imports from the country.

Noboa told CNN Espanol in an interview that he had changed his mind about sending the Soviet-era equipment after finding out about its planned delivery to Ukraine.

"To our surprise, the United States publicly communicated that this was going to be carried out for the armed conflict in Ukraine, we do not want to be part of it," he said.

US: Moscow funds disinformation campaigns across Latin America
The State Department said the Kremlin worked with media companies “to undermine support for Ukraine” in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, and other Latin American countries.

Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, claimed on Feb. 2 that Ecuador's decision was a breach of contract between the two countries, adding it was made "under serious pressure from outside stakeholders."

A day later, Russia banned imports from five Ecuadorian banana companies, claiming that a disease had been discovered in previous shipments. Ex-Ecuadorian diplomat Carlos Estarellas reportedly said the ban might have been a retaliatory move to the arms deal.

Noboa emphasized in the CNN interview that Russia was the third most important trading partner for Ecuador, adding that they did not want to violate any international treaty.

Ecuador is one of the world's leading banana exporters. More than one-fifth of its exports in 2022 went to Russia.

Venezuelan opposition leader: Ukraine will never convince Latin, African autocrats
Russia is infamous for its malign influence in Latin America – from pouring billions of dollars to help local dictators stay in power and spreading its propaganda to committing crimes against civilians through the hands of private military companies. It is also widely assumed that Russian propagand…
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FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

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