Javier Milei, a radical right-wing maverick who won nearly 56% of the vote in Argentina’s presidential runoff on Sunday, has previously said he would cut close ties with countries such as Russia, China and Brazil, citing disagreement with the policies of their governments, reports Reuters.
Javier Milei, President of ArgentinaPhoto: Luciano Gonzalez Torres / Xinhua News / Profimedia
Milei also expressed his support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and declared that he sees the United States and Israel as Argentina’s main partners, according to News.ro.
The Kremlin said on Monday that it had taken note of Argentina’s President-elect Javier Mila’s statements about Russia, but that it wanted to maintain strong ties with Buenos Aires.
“We took note of a series of statements that Mr. Milei made during the election campaign, but we will focus and judge him mainly on the statements he will make after the inauguration. We support the development of bilateral relations with Argentina,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
Argentina’s outgoing center-left government maintained close ties with Russia, importing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 and pushing to join the Moscow-backed BRICS group of nations.
“King of the jungle”
Ultraliberal economist Javier Milei (53), calling himself the “king of the jungle” and brandishing an electric saw during the election campaign, has shaken up Argentine politics at a delicate time for the Latin American country.
Batman and the Joker. A man disguised as a lion and another whose head and arms have been replaced by chainsaws. It’s not a carnival or a comic book festival, but an extravagant rally for the campaign of Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milea.
A right-wing populist, Milei went from television studio popularity and successful monologues peppered with angry outbursts against the “political caste” (which he considered to blame for Argentina’s perennial economic problems) to running for president in just a few years.
The ultra-liberal economist succeeded where others failed: he fit into the space between the Peronism of the “Frente de Todos” party and the followers of former president Mauricio Macri, represented by the “Juntos por el Cambio” party. Hence his motto: “I didn’t come to lead the lambs, I came to wake the lions”, writes Euronews, quoted by Rador Radio Romania.
Milea’s success seems to lie in his ability to channel the anger Argentines feel towards the ruling class against a backdrop of triple-digit inflation and rising poverty. Annual price increases are 140%, while over 40% of the population struggle to make ends meet.
“He speaks like a man on the street, like one of us, that’s why he’s so popular,” explains Rodrigo Agüera, an Argentinian waiter who lives in Barcelona. “I’m in favor of a change,” he says, but “we’ll have to see what happens next, because in the end politicians will always be politicians, they tell you one thing and then do another.”
Until recently considered a secondary figure in Argentine politics, in 2021 Milei was able to parlay his success as a TV talk show host into a seat in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Argentine Congress.
He later launched what appeared to be a long-shot presidential bid that shook Argentina’s political establishment when he won the most votes in local elections in August, seen as an important poll of voter preferences.