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Vaccine diplomacy: Latin America turns to Russia for COVID-19 vaccine

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Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021. 11:13 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V has spread to parts of Latin America.

An article from CNN reports that this could have post-pandemic effects on the US prestige in the region as countries in Latin America are now turning to Moscow for assistance in dealing with the pandemic.

Six countries in the region have now approved the use of the Sputnik V vaccine and others are considering it as well.

“Former diplomats and analysts in Buenos Aires, Bogota and La Paz say Russian President Vladimir Putin could now reap benefits from the vaccine’s spread, potentially using it as a global business card to start new and more forgiving relationships,” the article from CNN asserts.

The US closest regional ally, Colombia is also seeking to authorize the Russian vaccine.

“Russia made a big bet on the vaccine: in the last few years, Russia has re-discovered Latin America, not for ideology but because if your goal is to question the norms and values of the liberal international order, Latin America is a region particularly sensitive to that goal, ” said Andres Serbin, president of the Regional Coordinator of Social and Economic Research (CRIES), a foreign policy think tank in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The region sees the urgent need to secure vaccines.

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