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UNASUR protects member economies from US takeover
The South American states affiliated with the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) are eyeing with concern the United States' trading and economic domination in the continent and been doing their utmost to foster integration processes in Latin America, the head of the foreign policy activities chair at the Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration, Olga Abramova, told TASS in an interview. Abramova shared her opinion of the December 4-5 UNASUR summit in Ecuador's largest city Guayaquil.
The host country's president, Rafael Correa, said in his statement that if the 12 UNASUR member states managed to present a common front, the region would become the world's fourth largest economic entity. "If divided, we will depend on the conditions dictated to us by transnational capital. If united, we will be able to dictate terms to international capital... Regional integration is the best way of gaining independence from the power of large capital," Correa said.
Taking part in the UNASUR summit was a Russian delegation under the director of the Foreign Ministry's Latin America Department, Aleksandr Shchetinin. He believes that Russia's cooperation with UNASUR "has good prospects and is a tangible supplement to the bilateral relations which Moscow maintains with each of the association's member-states." Russia's ambassador to Ecuador, Yan Burlyai, has told TASS: "It is common knowledge that throughout many years the South American states in their economic cooperation were oriented primarily towards the West. Now, having such Russian enterprises as the Russian Railways, Gazprom and Rosneft as an alternative is very useful for them."
"The UNASUR countries are new markets for Russia to make investments. In the current complicated political situation Russia is reconsidering the vector of its foreign economic cooperation. South America is rich in natural resources and favourable for farming on the basis of advanced technologies. Russia's cooperation with the region's countries is mutually beneficial and useful," Abramova said.
"The US strategy at the moment is to create two trading and economic rings short-circuited to Washington. President Barack Obama has been very active in advancing this idea and pushing the European Union towards the establishment of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and a Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA), and the Asia-Pacific countries, towards creating a Trans-Pacific free trade zone. Far from all Asia-Pacific countries like this idea and in the European Union countries a tide of protest is rising against the TTIP," the analyst said.
"It is noteworthy that Obama's strategy by no means implies the involvement of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Washington finds it rather alarming China's foreign trade in 2012 exceeded that of the United States. The Obama Administration is conducting a systematic policy of containment against China, Russia and the other BRICS countries in the interests of the United States," Abramova said.
"At a time when the United States is pushing ahead with plans for creating free trade zones with its strategic partners, the other regional associations around the world, such as the Customs Union, the Eurasian Economic Union and UNASUR should develop their own economic integration to protect the member countries' national interests," Abramova concluded.
The Union of South American Nations is a regional political and economic organization of South American states. The UNASUR founding treaty was signed in 2008. Its members are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, Chile and Ecuador. Mexico and Panama are present in the capacity of observers. The Union's paramount goal is to achieve the member economies integration and create a free trade zone in fifteen years' time.
[Source: By Tamara Zamyatina, Itar Tass, Moscow, 08Dec14]
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