Americas

Argentina rejects sanctioning Russia: Foreign minister

Santiago Cafiero says his country will not sanction Russian government

Bala Chambers   | 04.03.2022
Argentina rejects sanctioning Russia: Foreign minister

LONDON 

Argentina's Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero said the Latin American country will not sanction Russia amid its continued war with Ukraine.

“Argentina does not consider that they are a mechanism to generate peace and harmony, or generate a frank dialogue table that serves to save lives,” Cafiero told reporters at the presidential building, the Casa Rosada.

Russia's war on Ukraine, which began Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage as the EU, US, and UK, among others imposing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

Cafiero said Argentina does not have "a strong interdependence with Russia" in terms of trade and denied that his country delayed condemning the Russian war against Ukraine.

"The situations were changing. When there was tension, Argentina asked to de-escalate the tension, when there was tension, they asked to return to dialogue. Then, when the Russian army uses force, the Argentine government rejected the use of force as a mechanism to resolve conflicts and then condemned the invasion," he said, urging an

an end to the conflict.

"For us, the path is always that of peace," said Cafiero, who pointed out that Argentina is part of the UN Refugee Agency and will adhere to whatever is decided regarding potential asylum requests.

Following a call for restrictions on Russian-based media in Argentina, Cafiero pushed back, insisting "we are against this because freedom of the press is valued in Argentina."

The foreign minister announced he had ordered the evacuation of Argentine diplomats from Ukraine.

"During our early morning we were carrying out a transfer operation for Ambassador Elena Mikusinski, her daughter and the consul Yusef Saber, who is the last part of the diplomatic staff that we had," he said.

The evacuation of the Argentine Embassy happened while Russia and Ukraine were planning to hold a second round of talks to reach a cease-fire, one week after Russia began military operations in Ukraine.

Cafiero described the evacuation as a "window of opportunity" that was "taken advantage of during the curfew that was in force in Kiev.”

He also said Argentine authorities are in communication with Argentine nationals who are seeking to leave Ukraine and that there are representatives in Romania and Poland working on the ground.

A total of 58 Argentine citizens were evacuated from Ukraine to Romania as of March 2.

According to UN figures, 227 civilians in Ukraine have been killed and 525 injured since the start of the war.

However, Ukrainian authorities put the death toll at more than 2,000.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 1 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries.

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