Ecuador calls off arms exchange with US over plan to send weapons to Ukraine


  • World
  • Saturday, 24 Feb 2024

FILE PHOTO: Ecuador President Daniel Noboa speaks during a ceremony to deliver equipment to the National Police, amid the ongoing wave of violence around the nation, in Quito, Ecuador, January 22, 2024. REUTERS/Karen Toro/File Photo

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador's government has canceled a plan to trade outdated Soviet weapons for new arms from the United States, President Daniel Noboa said, after learning the old weapons would have been sent to Ukraine.

Noboa, who is grappling with sharply deteriorated security and has declared 22 criminal gangs to be terrorist groups, said in January that Washington would give his country $200 million of new weaponry in exchange for "junk" arms.

"To our surprise, the United States has communicated publicly that it will take (the arms) for the armed conflict in Ukraine, in which we do not want to take part, nor do we want to triangulate weapons for it," Noboa told CNN in an interview clip shared on Thursday. "We can't go ahead with it."

The spokeswoman for the foreign ministry of Russia, which invaded Ukraine two years ago, criticized the arms exchange earlier this month.

"Russia is our third-largest commercial partner, and in this particular case they were right, we would have been triangulating arms and we won't do that," Noboa said, giving no further details.

The full interview is set to air on CNN on Sunday.

A spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Quito said they had no information on the policy change.

Several high-ranking U.S. officials have visited Ecuador in recent weeks to discuss cooperation on security issues.

Russia last week lifted a ban on banana imports from five Ecuadorean businesses. It had said there were sanitary issues with the shipments.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In World

AI-generated child pornography is circulating. This US prosecutor wants to make it illegal.
Study links excessive Internet use to teen school absence risk
EU watchdog: Meta shouldn’t force users to pay for data protection
Layoff whiplash scars workers who find new jobs only to lose them
European Union questions TikTok on new app that pays users for watching
Man watches RM119,000, woman disappear in online dating scam, US police say
Polish president meets privately with Trump in New York
Uber is helping investigators look into account that sent driver to US home where she was killed
AI computing is on pace to consume more energy than India, Arm says
Stabbed Sydney Assyrian church bishop says he forgives attacker

Others Also Read