Paraguay flagInternationalIndiaAfricaASUNCION (Sputnik) – Russia and Paraguay remain strong trade partners despite Western attempts to isolate Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian ambassador in Asuncion told Sputnik. “We view as positive the fact that Paraguayan political circles have refrained from offering the West their unconditional support or limiting trade and economic relations with Russia,” Alexander Pisarev said in an interview.
Russia was the South American nation's fourth largest trade partner in 2022 despite logistical hurdles brought about by the Group of Seven and EU sanctions on transactions and insurance of Russia-bound cargoes.
The diplomat said exports of Paraguayan frozen meat dipped in early 2022 before recovering, while trade in meat products edged up last year. Exports of soy, Paraguay’s main agricultural commodity, also took a hit last year due to a drop in production. “Several shipments of Paraguayan meat totaling $8.5 million never reached Russia and were sent back to Paraguay, but from what we see today business has found workarounds and shipments continue as usual,” Pisarev said. Russia has been aware of the West’s pressure on the Global South to sever ties with Moscow, but media coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Paraguay remains balanced, the diplomat said. Pisarev also accused the United States of interfering in Paraguay’s 2023 presidential race by imposing sanctions on Vice President Hugo Velazquez, who quit office and withdrew his candidacy in August over corruption accusations by Washington.