Putin cancels banana imports after sending weapons to Ukraine

Kevin Sullivan, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said Ecuador was “considering” supplying the US with Russian weapons to be sent to Ukraine for defense against a Russian military attack.

Following Ecuadorian President Daniel Novoa's decision to send weapons of Soviet origin to Ukraine via the United States, Vladimir Putin has decided to freeze the import of bananas from the South American country.

US Undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kevin Sullivan said Ecuador is “considering” handing over Russian weapons to the US for defense against a Russian military attack.

The South American country has agreed with Washington to exchange military equipment of Russian origin considered “scrap” for new weapons worth $200 million. A deal condemned by the Kremlin has affected one of Ecuador's main export markets.

Thus, Ecuador will provide six Mi-type helicopters and long-range rocket launchers and anti-aircraft defense systems. In return, the drug-trafficking South American country will receive modern weapons to counter the strong “terrorist” violence it has experienced in recent weeks.

“We are very happy to support the (Ecuadorian) government of Ukraine in its efforts to secure the territory,” Sullivan added.

For her part, the spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zaharova, rejected the two countries' plan last week and considered it an “irresponsible” decision made by Ecuador “under strong pressure from foreign stakeholders.”

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