MOSCOW – The foreign ministers of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, and of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales, announced in Moscow Friday their decision to move forward with bilateral relations.
“We came to Russia to build on our existing degree of cooperation,” the head of Guatemalan diplomacy said at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart after their meeting.
Morales noted Guatemala’s particular interest in the field of education, with particular emphasis on Guatemalan youths studying in Russia.
He said it was precisely for that reason that the dean of Guatemala’s University of San Carlos, Carlos Alvarado Cerezo, accompanied him on this trip to Moscow.
He also said that Guatemala is interested in boosting trade with Russia – last year it amounted to a modest $61 million – and that he believes the upcoming ratification of a bilateral accord for investment protection will help achieve that goal.
Lavrov said for his part that “I have agreed with my colleague and friend to diversify our trade, to do away with the imbalance (favorable to Guatemala) in this area and increase the proportion of products with greater value-added.”
The Russian added that in Friday’s talks it was decided to finalize as quickly as possible the cooperation accords in the fields of education and between the police forces of the two countries.
In political matters, Lavrov said that Russia and Guatemala maintain “similar positions” about “many of the key international and regional issues.”
Russia and Guatemala, he said, are speaking out in favor of creating “a more just democratic system in the world order,” which “must be polycentric.”
“And one of the pillars of the world order must be Latin America, which is now growing actively stronger in that regard,” Lavrov said. He added that Moscow is interested in increasing its dialogue and developing cooperation with all Latin American countries and their regional associations.
“We are satisfied with the results of the talks. I’m convinced that the accords reached today will serve to expand our cooperation for the good of our countries and our people,” the Russian minister said.