President Álvaro Colom arrived in Moscow yesterday for a “historic” visit to the Russian capital that includes meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvédev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Colom is the first Guatemalan president to visit Russia, and upon arrival, he declared that the visit demonstrates “an evolution in relations not only of Guatemala but of Central America” with their Russian counterparts.
Prior to meeting with the Russian president, Colom announced his intention to sign a declaration of cooperation with Russia. According to Guatemala’s ambassador, Arturo Duarte, the agreement will include plans to convene a meeting between the countries’ diplomacy schools and the creation of a bilateral commission to identify possible areas of economic cooperation in the energy and transportation sectors, as well as possible Russian investment in roads, ports and airports.
Russia has been working to build stronger relations with a number of Latin American countries in recent years and has become an increasingly important trading partner—particularly in military equipment—for the region.