Ecuador is still considering sending its outdated Russian military equipment to Ukraine, according to US Assistant Secretary of State for South American affairs Kevin Sullivan, in a Feb. 8 interview with Ecuadorian TV channel Teleamazonas.

“I understand that the government of Ecuador is still studying this issue. This is an agreement aimed at transferring equipment to the Ukrainian government, which is fighting against a Russian invasion of its territory,” Sullivan said.

In January, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa announced that his country had agreed to exchange Russian military equipment that had become “scrap metal” in return for new US weapons worth about $200 million.

According to the president, Ecuador can supply six Russian military helicopters, long-range missile launchers and air defense systems. According to local media, the weapons date back to the 1990s.


In exchange, Ecuador wants state-of-the-art weapons to counter the powerful drug gangs that keep the country on its toes.

"We assume that such a rash decision was made by the Ecuadorian side under strong pressure from external stakeholders," Russian spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week.

She added that under the contract, Ecuadaor’s capital Quito is obliged “not to transfer this equipment to a third party” without the consent of Russia.

“If it was scrap metal, it is unlikely that Washington would offer modern vehicles of significant value in exchange,” Zakharova said.

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Following this, the Rosselkhoznadzor (Russia’s federal agricultural body) appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture of Ecuador with a request to suspend the purchase of bananas from five Ecuadorian companies from Feb. 5 due to the alleged detection of a dangerous quarantine pest.

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