SANTIAGO – Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday invited Russia’s Vladimir Putin to visit the Andean nation and the bases that both countries have in Antarctica with the aim of moving forward on scientific cooperation.
She extended the invite during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is making a tour of several countries in Latin America.
After the meeting the Russian foreign minister emphasized the bilateral partnership accord crafted during Bachelet’s previous 2006-2010 term as president.
“We declare that we will strengthen and deepen the political dialogue and develop bilateral economic-commercial relations, military cooperation and cultural relations,” said Lavrov during a joint statement with his Chilean counterpart, Heraldo Muñoz.
The Syrian crisis, the situation in Iraq, Iran’s nuclear program and, in particular, the situation in Ukraine were the main issues on the international agenda discussed by the two foreign ministers.
Muñoz also joined Lavrov at a meeting with Chilean Defense Minister Jorge Burgos to discuss “the potential for military exchanges.”
Lavrov announced that in June a meeting of the bilateral commission to foster economic relations will be held in Moscow along with a business forum.
Chile is interested in reaching a trade agreement with the Eurasian Customs Union, which is made up of the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
“Bilateral economic relations are positive, but they can be much more. Commercial exchange is $717 million, there are Russian investments in Chile and Chilean businessmen interested in investing in Russia,” Muñoz said.