Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Latin America in mid-July, where he will participate in a BRICS Summit, is already attracting a lot of attention from Russia watchers. Latin America, largely ignored by the Kremlin during the 1990s, has emerged as a potential new partner for Russia as it searches for allies around the world in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis that has highlighted as never before the continuing diversification of Russian foreign policy.

Given the growing presence of the U.S. and NATO in Eastern Europe, it’s perhaps no surprise that Russia is similarly looking at ways to expand its presence in America’s backyard. This Brief takes a closer look at why Latin America is emerging as a region of new geopolitical rivalry, examines the strengthening military and economic ties between Russia and Latin America, and analyzes how China’s expanding presence in the region might impact the political calculus of both the U.S. and Russia.

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