Ecuador is facing a delicate situation in its relations with Russia after openly announcing its intention to send its Russian weapons, considered obsolete, to the United States in exchange for more modern military equipment. The government of President Daniel Noboa claims that the measure is a way of strengthening the country’s internal security. However, the decision did not please the Kremlin, which accuses Quito of violating contracts made with Russia at the time of purchasing these weapons and of giving in to pressure from Washington.
The diplomatic tension caused by the arms exchange agreement between Ecuador and the USA appears to be generating negative commercial repercussions for the South American country. The Kremlin decided to impose several measures against the import of Ecuadorian bananas, which the Ecuadorian government sees as a measure of retaliation for Noboa’s decision to hand over the weapons.
Russia currently represents around 20% of Ecuador’s export destination, and the country’s non-oil exports to Russia totaled around $841 million between January and November 2023. This has created a strain on Ecuador’s relationship with Russia.
Ecuador’s idea of getting rid of Russian weapons began in December 2023, and in January, Noboa stated for the first time that he planned to exchange what he called “Ukrainian and Russian scrap” for $200 million in modern equipment from the US. The war artifacts that must be handed over to