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    Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

    ‘Friend or Foe’ Notions are Things of the Past – Kirchner

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    Relations between Russia and Argentina continue to deepen. Yet another breakthrough occurred on Thursday during a meeting between Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the Argentine president said in an exclusive interview with RT Spanish, her first with international media in five years.

    “There is confidence that Russia-Argentina relations continue deepening and they are just as good as they have been in the past 130 years … They have gone beyond the brotherhood ties, and cultural exchange levels too, they got directly to deeper plans,” Kirchner told RT Spanish.

    Russia-Argentina Cooperation

    During Thursday’s talks the sides inked a raft of mutually-rewarding cooperation accords, including on the Chihuido 1 project that involves the construction of a 105-foot-tall dam across the Neuquen River and a hydro plant.

    Kirchner said that another important breakthrough in bilateral relations was made during her talks with President Putin, especially in the energy field.

    “Today we have made a breakthrough, at least in the energy field, when we signed two agreements which could be, and surely will be the construction of the sixth Argentina energy block,” Kirchner said.

    “Argentina is a Latin American country with great knowledge and experience in nuclear energy production. We design, build and sell nuclear reactors to Egypt, Algeria and Australia where we competed with the French winning a tender there…” she added.

    Russia’s Gazprom and Argentina’s renationalized YPF Company agreed to join hands in extracting hard-to-reach oil and natural gas in Argentina. The two countries also inked a number of cooperation deals in agriculture and cattle farming.

    Following the meeting on Thursday, Vladimir Putin said that Russia's nuclear corporation Rosatom had joined the project of constructing the sixth energy block of the Atucha nuclear power plant in Argentina.

    Russia and Global Security

    Russia is a major global actor, and presenting Moscow as a threat to global security is “absurd,” President Kirchner said.

    She also stressed that the unipolar world, in which one country's law is acknowledged to be the only correct law for every country, is a thing of the past.

    Cristina Kirchner highlighted that no one can proclaim the “monopoly of friendship,” and Argentina is free to choose strategic partners.

    “I believe that despite all this talk about the Cold War now being a thing of the past, many people still believe that you need an enemy to ensure your domination over others. I think we need to get rid of this obsolete “friend-foe” logic which leads to absolutely intolerable situations… That is why President Putin and I signed today a joint statement on establishing a political partnership between our two countries, on the role played by the UN, on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. We appreciate Russia’s traditional support on the Malvinas issue… We also endorsed the February 17, 2015 Minsk accords on ending the crisis in Ukraine,” Kirchner said.

    Geopolitics and its Stakeholders

    “Even though it is impossible to ignore the United States and the special role it plays in the world, one can't deny the existence of China, Russia, Southeast Asia and India, and certainly needs to maintain trade and political links with these countries.  There should be no monopoly on friendship and relations and I believe that we should work together with all these countries,” she added.

    Mrs. President

    When asked whether the ongoing debate about her performance as president stems from her being a woman or because her policies infringe on some people’s interests, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said it was a combination of both.

    “If you are running a country like Argentina which Nestor Kirchner was in 2003 with unemployment running at 25 percent, state debt at 160 percent and 54 percent of people living in poverty, you start to make things right, redistributing national wealth to spur economic growth, there are always those who do not like that. Sometimes it’s harder to be hated than when people just don’t care because you are a mediocritymediocre….”

    When asked to elaborate on the ongoing presidential elections in Argentina, Cristina Kirchner said she was proud to be the author on the present electoral system of preliminary, open and simultaneous and mandatory elections where it is the people, not political parties, who elect candidates for the final vote.

    “This system made the country’s political life more democratic and this makes me so proud and happy because we now have a democracy where everyone takes part in political life,” she noted.

    Fernandez de Kirchner also mentioned the much-needed reform of Argentina’s court system where ordinary people would at least be able to impact the work done by the state agencies, which control and evaluate the judges’ performance.

    “I believe that what you do as a human is more important than the post you hold. You can be president but never go down in history. I know many people who used to be presidents but if I were to choose I would hate to be like them. Because it is what you do that really matters, not the job you have…” Cristina Kirchner said in conclusion.


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