Ecuador’s Minister Of Defense To Go To Russia To Seek Military Assistance
By Dialogo March 19, 2009Javier Ponce, Ecuador's Defense Minister, will travel to Russia to launch an agreement for military assistance, according to a statement provided Wednesday to AFP by a source from within. "The minister will proceed with the military assistance plan signed by both countries," stated a top military official, who requested to remain anonymous. The official reported that Ponce's visit to Russia will last four days, and that during this time he will talk to the country’s military leaders. Last November Russian chancellor Sergey Lavrov visited Quito for the first time, an occasion in which the governments improved their relations by establishing a series of commercial, military, and nuclear energy assistance commitments. "We have already discussed extensive commercial, financial, and military cooperation. They have great, high quality military equipment," said President Rafael Corres, a harsh critic of the United States who is organizing the removal in 2009 of the North American troops operating an antidrug base in the Ecuadorian coast. Since 2008 the Executive Branch has been pushing for modernization of the Armed Forces through the purchase of Brazilian combat aircraft, Chinese radar, and Indian helicopters, as well as used fleets from Chile.