Ecuador Backtracks On Plan To Send Weapons To Ukraine


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Quito: Ecuador's foreign minister said Monday the country did not plan to send Soviet-era weapons to Ukraine after the president's vow to do so sparked a spat with Moscow over banana and flower exports.

"Ecuador will not send any war material to a country that is involved in an international armed conflict," Foreign Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld told a congressional committee.

President Daniel Noboa announced last month that Quito had agreed to exchange Russian military equipment that had become "scrap metal" for new US weapons worth around $200 million.

Ecuador was planning to send six Russian military helicopters, long-range rocket launchers and air defense systems to the United States.

These weapons would then be sent from the US to Ukraine. In exchange, Ecuador would receive modern weapons to confront powerful drug trafficking gangs that have the country in a chokehold.

Moscow slammed the "reckless" decision and banned the import of some Ecuadoran bananas and flowers, citing the detection of pests.

On Friday Ecuador's Trade Minister Sonsoles Garcia said on X that the Russian embargo on five banana exporting companies had been lifted.

Ecuador is the world's biggest banana exporter and one of the top exporters of flowers, mainly roses.

Nine out of 10 bananas imported by Russia come from Ecuador, according to Russian media.

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