Bolivia’s defense vision foresees closer ties with Russia to foster military cooperation, Defense Minister Edmundo Novillo said in an interview with the Sputnik portal.
“This conference is for us primarily to express our vision on challenges and threats, but our vision is also fundamentally to do with deepening relations with Russia in order to create military cooperation that will strengthen our armed forces and will strengthen its goals and objectives of the defense of the Bolivian people in all these areas such as the fight against drug trafficking, smuggling, climate change, airspace control, “said the minister in statements to the above-mentioned agency.
Novillo visits Moscow.
With this in mind, the minister reported on a visit by Russian technicians to Bolivia in response to the request from the Bolivian authorities to identify and characterize the areas and areas with vulnerabilities in relation to the fight against drug trafficking.
“Proposals were generated from this diagnosis, which have already been collected in work tables (…). Our meetings, which we will also have here, are based on this; and from here we are going to St. Petersburg this afternoon to visit be.” with Ministry of Defense authorities and also the companies dealing with these issues, “said Novillo Aguilar.
The minister confirmed that “smuggling is a very serious problem” in Bolivia and the fight against it is one of the fields of cooperation with Russia.
He also recalled that in the city of El Alto the construction of the Center for Research and Development in Nuclear Technology (CIDTN) is under way for peaceful purposes.
After construction, the center will help the Bolivian authorities “to serve medicine and food production”.
“This is under construction and we as the Ministry of Defense are working to ensure security, not just physical security, but also nuclear security, which is very important and part of our competencies,” he said.
He also highlighted Russia’s support for Bolivia as well as cooperation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Your contribution, your collaboration with us, was very important because they were the first vaccines to arrive in Bolivia in a time of crisis and allowed us to start vaccinating to counter the effects of the pandemic on the Bolivian people . ” he said, Novillo Aguilar.
On June 24, the Minister participated in the MCIS plenary session entitled “Military Interaction as a Tool to Combat Regional Challenges and Threats in Latin America and the Western Hemisphere”.
In addition to Novillo Aguilar, the Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López; the Commander of the Strategic Region for Integral Maritime and Island Defense of Venezuela, Admiral Alexander José Velásquez Bastidas; the commander in chief of the Nicaraguan army Julio César Avilés Castillo; the Deputy Minister of Defense of Paraguay, Dr. Gladys Ruiz Vda. from Pecci; and Olga Elena Ramirez Poggi, lawyer at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences and specialist in international relations and foreign trade at the University of San Martín de Porres.