Alberto Fernández has tried to undo this Saturday the mess he generated with the United States during the tour he made the first week of February to Russia and China. After accusing the White House of not supporting him in his negotiations with the IMF, which ended in an agreement at the end of January, he has now said that “the current US government supported Argentina with his vote.” “I appreciate that,” he said, in a long thread on their social networks in which he also defended his country’s relations with Moscow and Beijing.
Fernández’s words are the corollary of a week of diplomatic tension. The Argentine used the Kremlin to proclaim that his country needed to reduce its “dependence” on the International Monetary Fund and the United States, while offering Vladimir Putin that Argentina would be Russia’s “gateway” to Latin America. Days later, in China, he praised the Maoist revolution. The tenor of the geopolitical agenda deployed by the president was not in the original script that the Foreign Ministry had written in Buenos Aires. And he fell very badly in Washington.
The State Department did not make public statements, but stated its position through a confidential source that the newspaper The nation he replied Thursday on his front page. The US official made clear the discomfort of the Joe Biden government with Fernández, listed the gestures that the White House had made and expressed the will to continue, despite everything, supporting Argentina.
The approval of the United States to the negotiations with the IMF was key for the signing of an agreement. Time was urgent for Argentina, which this year must pay 19,000 of the 44,000 million that the government of Mauricio Macri had received as a financial rescue in 2018. With its international reserves close to zero and a very weak economic situation, only a refinancing could avoid a new cessation of payments.
Just as Trump at the time worked to favor the Macri government, putting the future of Argentina at risk, I say today that the current US government, when it came to beginning to solve the problem, accompanied Argentina with its vote and that I value it.
– Alberto Fernández (@alferdez) February 12, 2022
Before finishing his Asian tour, Fernández spoke with Argentine media via videoconference and ratified his criticism. “Who helped me? European countries helped me with the Fund, China helped me, Russia helped me, the American countries and I stop there. I know who did a lot for that loan to be given. I do know that, the previous government of the United States,” he said, referring to the administration of Donald Trump and his efforts to help Macri. This Saturday he backed down, recognized the help of the North American country and took the heat off the political consequences of his visit to Russia in the midst of the escalation in Ukraine and China.
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“I don’t know why the issue raised so much dust, why does traveling to Russia and China mean that we want to have a bad relationship with the United States? I don’t know what one thing has to do with the other. The reality is that we went to Russia and China to further strengthen and promote our commercial and financial ties at a time when Argentina needs it,” Fernández said in statements to a local radio, when he had already launched his new position on Twitter. to the White House. “Argentina has no permanent or perpetual friends or enemies, the only thing that is perpetual is the defense of its interests,” he added. The signed agreement still needs the approval of the IMF board to enter into force, and Argentina depends, as in 2018, on the United States.
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