Russian leader Vladimir Putin praised Colombia's President Gustavo Petro for the latter's speech Tuesday before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
We share the recent words of the new President [Gustavo] Petro on the constructive approach to the intensification of relations in the spheres of trade, energy, infrastructure, science and technology, education and culture, Putin said in Moscow while welcoming Colombia's new Ambassador Héctor Arenas Neira, together with new mission chiefs from Uruguay, Venezuela and ten other countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.
After winning the elections, Petro received a message from Putin congratulating him on his victory. Putin also pointed out back then that Russian-Colombian relations traditionally have a friendly character. I hope that your work as the head of state will contribute to the further development of mutually advantageous bilateral cooperation ties in various fields.
Putin also argued that Colombia could become an ally for Russia, and stressed that he wants to maintain a friendly relationship with Petro, whom he described as ”a promising partner of Russia in Latin America with whom we are interested in maintaining friendly relations.”
The Russian government also pledged to continue to support the peace process in Colombia involving Petro's administration and rogue guerrilla groups of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) linked to drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
Since taking office, Petro, the first-ever leftwing politician to become head of state of the South American country, has normalized diplomatic relations with Venezuela and might also withdraw the lawsuit filed against Nicoás Maduro before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.