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Features of Argentina's diplomatic activity in the XIX – XXI centuries (based on the materials of the Digital Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina)

Demidov Aleksei

PhD in Politics

Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations, Medialogy, Political Science and History of Saint Petersburg State University of Economics

191023, Russia, gorod Sankt-Peterburg, g. Saint Petersburg, ul. Sadovaya, 21

a.m.demidov@yandex.ru
Другие публикации этого автора
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8671.2022.2.38070

Review date:

15-05-2022


Publish date:

12-06-2022


Abstract: The object of the study is the foreign policy of Argentina. The subject of the study is the diplomatic activity of Buenos Aires, expressed in the conclusion of bilateral agreements. The purpose of the article is to build a picture of the development of Argentina's foreign policy based on a quantitative analysis of more than eight thousand documents contained in the Digital Library of Treaties (Biblioteca Digital de Tratados) on the web portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. The author examines in detail such aspects of the topic as the general dynamics of Argentine diplomatic activity and the change of priorities in contacts with individual states and regions. Special attention is paid to the comparative dynamics of Argentina's relations with the United States, Russia, China and leading European countries in the period from 1983 to the present. The scientific novelty lies in the fact that the study of this array of documents in their entirety has not yet been conducted by domestic scientists. The article uses general scientific methods of cognition, as well as statistical analysis. The aforementioned library of treaties was used as sources, as well as the works of Argentine and domestic researchers devoted to various aspects of the subject under consideration. As a result of statistical analysis of the collection of treaties, the peculiarities of Argentina's diplomatic activity at different stages of the evolution of its foreign policy were revealed, presented in the form of diagrams and graphs. The main conclusions can be noted, firstly, a sharp increase in diplomatic activity in general and especially outside the region in the period after 1946; a tendency to increase the importance of Russia, China and Asian countries in the period after 1983; while maintaining the priority of relations with European countries under all presidents except K. Fernandez.


Keywords:

Argentina, foreign policy, diplomacy, bilateral agreement, Latin America, USA, Russia, China, Europe, Asia

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The study of Argentina's foreign policy is relevant for two reasons. Firstly, this country occupies a significant place in international political processes, entering together with Brazil and Mexico into the top three largest and most influential countries in Latin America. Secondly, Buenos Aires has traditionally held a neutral and later friendly position towards our country. It is enough to note the multiple visits of the heads of Argentina to Russia, the last of which took place on February 3, 2022. At a meeting with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin , Argentine President A. Fernandez said: "Argentina to some extent can become the "entrance gate" for Russia to Latin America. We could be a springboard for you to develop cooperation with Latin American countries." He stressed that he stands "for Argentina to get rid of this dependence on the IMF and the United States, and for us to open up new opportunities. In particular, cooperation with Russia is very important for us" (Talks with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez [Electronic resource] // Official website of the President of Russia. URL: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67704) (Presidential Executive Office. (2022) Talks with President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez [Talks with President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez]The official website of the President of Russia. Retrieved from: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67704). Of course, after February 24, 2022, when the special operation in Ukraine began, Argentina, like many countries of the world, found itself under pressure from Washington and had to be more careful in cooperation with Russia. Nevertheless, in the context of the aggressive position of Europe and the United States, the importance of relations with Buenos Aires for our country has not only not decreased, but also increased.

The diplomatic activity of Argentina, expressed in the conclusion of bilateral interstate treaties, was chosen as the subject of this work. For consideration, we have selected the entire period of Argentina's existence as an independent political unit from 1810 to April 2022, but we paid special attention to the analysis of the current stage of Argentine foreign policy, which began in 1983.

The scientific novelty of the work is due to the lack of attempts in domestic science to statistically analyze the array of Argentine international treaties. Meanwhile, quantitative data make it possible both to verify and refine existing descriptions of Argentine foreign policy, and to see in Argentina's diplomatic activity a reflection of changes in world politics.

The purpose of the study is to identify the features of the evolution of Argentina's diplomatic activity and to create a holistic picture of its foreign policy priorities based on a quantitative analysis of documents. In the course of our work, we solved the following tasks: to statistically analyze the array of bilateral treaties and agreements of Argentina; to correlate the results of the analysis with existing works on Argentina's foreign policy; to build a picture of the development and current state of Argentine diplomacy. 

The methods used in the work meet the tasks set. These are general scientific methods of cognition, as well as statistical analysis applied to an array of international treaties and agreements of Argentina.

First of all, the already mentioned Electronic Library of Contracts was used as a source for analysis (Biblioteca Digital de Tratados [Electronic resource] // Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto. URL: https://tratados.cancilleria.gob.ar /) (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship. (2022) Biblioteca Digital de Tratados [Digital Library of Treaties] Retrieved from: https://tratados.cancilleria.gob.ar). It contains electronic copies of international treaties and agreements concluded by the Argentine Republic (and political entities that preceded it, such as the Junta of Buenos Aires). In the category of bilateral agreements of this library, we found and processed information about 8067 documents. According to the statements on the main page, the Library is updated and supplemented daily, and at the time of submitting this article for publication, the number of bilateral agreements is already 8144. It should be borne in mind that the Library does not necessarily contain every contract and agreement (after 2020, their number is abnormally small, apparently they have not yet been processed), however, consideration of about eight thousand documents allows us to draw statistical conclusions. We selected only bilateral agreements for research, and not contracts with international organizations (there are only 562 of them in the Library) or multilateral agreements (2476 documents at the time of the transfer of the work for publication). These documents deserve a separate study.

When working with the Contract Library, we used the following procedure. First, with the help of the search engine, requests were made about contracts concluded with certain countries in a certain period of time. Then we checked the search results (very rarely there could be contracts from another time period or with other countries in them) and entered the numbers of contracts into the tables. If necessary, simple statistics such as fractions and averages were calculated. Based on the data obtained, diagrams and graphs were constructed, presented here as illustrations.

Also, for the interpretation and verification of the results obtained, we turned to some domestic and foreign works on the foreign policy of Argentina. In particular, one can note the fundamental work "Argentina and the World before the bicentennial of the May Revolution: Argentine Foreign Relations from separation from Spain to the present", published by a team of Argentine specialists back in 2011. In the preface to this collective monograph, its compiler A. Simonoff indicates three stages in the development of international relations in Argentina: 1810-1946, 1946-1983 and from 1983 to the present [1, p.23]. In this paper, we also adhere to this chronology.

Let's move on to the analysis of diagrams based on the results of statistical measurements of the array of bilateral treaties of Argentina. First of all, let's estimate the dynamics of the amount of contracts concluded over decades (Fig.1).

Figure 1. Dynamics of bilateral agreements signed by Argentina. Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.

 

We see that in the 1930s and 1940s there was an obvious reversal of the established trend. The upswing of the 1930s seems sharp against the background of the downturn in the 1920s, but in fact it was only one and a half times higher than the upswing in the 1860s. It is important that in the 1940s, instead of the typical upswings of the previous decades, the subsequent downturn, there is an even sharper growth, continuing until the 1990s. years, then comes the maximum acceleration, then the first decline in decades and a new rise at a high speed. How can we explain these results? In the 1940s, there was a change of epochs in world politics as a whole, as well as a change of stages in the development of Argentina's foreign policy. The second was, of course, connected with the first, but also had a serious internal basis. On the one hand, all the countries of the planet were forced to react in some way to the results of the Second World War and the subsequent struggle of the two superpowers. The bipolar world, the beginning of decolonization and globalization radically changed international relations, and changes in the foreign policy of any country were inevitable. But, on the other hand, the reaction of Latin American countries to what was happening was different, and it was Argentina that took an active and at the same time independent position. This "third position" (Tercera posici?n), which we usually translate as "The Third Way", was formulated by X. Peron, who became president on July 4, 1946. From this date, we count in the analysis the beginning of the second stage of the development of Argentina's foreign policy. It remains to explain the zigzag curve after 2000. The decline in the number of bilateral treaties in the 2000s seems to be due to two factors - first Argentina was in a state of crisis, and then N. Kirchner began an active course towards South American integration and multilateral treaties began to be concluded more often.

Now let's take a closer look at the statistics of the studied documents on the three main stages of the development of Argentine foreign policy. We should immediately note that we deliberately separate Argentina's treaties with its neighbors – Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile – from treaties with any other countries, since the neighborhood of countries inevitably requires a much larger number of agreements to be concluded.

In the period before 1946, the vast majority of treaties were concluded with neighboring countries, only 44% of treaties remained for the rest of the world (including countries not bordering Argentina in the Western Hemisphere). These data, as well as the data of the subsequent stages, can be seen in the diagram below (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. The ratio of Argentina's treaties with neighboring countries and with other countries. Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.

 

It is noteworthy that at the same time, activity in relations with neighbors was distributed almost evenly into five parts – from 16% of contracts with Paraguay to 26% of contracts with Chile (see Figure 3). With the completely different length of the borders and the closeness of Paraguay for a considerable part of the XIX century, this is a very unexpected result, showing the desire of the Argentine Republic to balance in its immediate environment.

 

Figure 3. Argentina's treaties with its neighbors. Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.

 

Relations with the far abroad were, on the contrary, predictably unbalanced during this period. Europe occupied 77% of the diplomatic activity of Buenos Aires, another 20% accounted for the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Asia and Africa were left with only 3%. However, it should be borne in mind that before decolonization in Asia and especially Africa, the number of independent countries was small, so the contrast between Europe and Argentina's native hemisphere is rather interesting here.

 

 

Figure 4. Distribution of contracts by region (excluding neighboring countries). Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina

 

As for those countries of the Western Hemisphere with which it did not border, Argentina concluded approximately an equal number of treaties with South American states and with the United States and Canada combined until 1946. Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean accounted for only 11%. As we can see from the diagram in Figure 5, this ratio was to change in the following stages.

 

 

Figure 5. Argentina's treaties with the countries of the Western Hemisphere (except neighbors). Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina

 

When analyzing the activity in relations with specific European countries, we find the largest number of agreements with France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The rest of the countries are sharply behind this four, including Germany is six times behind France. The reasons for the dominance of France and Great Britain, which were the leading world powers during this period, as well as the most important trading partners of Buenos Aires, are obvious. As for the importance of Italy, the mass immigration from this country to Argentina led to the emergence of a unique relationship between Rome and Buenos Aires, which, as we will see, did not weaken at the subsequent stages of the development of Argentine foreign policy. Spain, after overcoming the mutual bitterness of the times of the struggle for independence, also turned out to be very important for Argentina due to cultural proximity.

In the period from the election of President X. Before the restoration of democracy in 1983, Argentine diplomacy was undergoing fundamental changes compared to the previous era. Of course, we must take into account that the reasons for these changes were not only the change of priorities of the country's leadership, but also radical changes in the international arena, primarily decolonization. Indeed, at the request of most African countries, the treaty database issues only one or two documents per country during this period, and they are devoted to establishing diplomatic relations with it. However, the very fact of striving to establish ties with as many countries as possible contrasts with the extremely Eurocentric policies of the previous era. In addition, certain changes are also observed in the prioritization of the European and Asian directions during this period. As S. A. Zarubin notes, "the Peronist doctrine of the "third way" not only determined the main directions of the country's foreign policy in 1946-1955, but also had a significant impact on the subsequent history of Argentina" [2, p. 63].

The first thing we can notice when analyzing the documents of this era is that the ratio of Argentina's treaties with neighboring countries and with other countries has changed to the opposite. Instead of 56% and 44% before 1946, now contracts with neighbors occupied only 39% of the total, and contracts with non-CIS countries accounted for 61%.

At the same time, the ratio of ties with the five neighbors remained, as in the previous era, relatively uniform – from 15% in Uruguay to 27% in Bolivia. It should be noted that Chile moved to third place with 18%, although it previously took first place with 26%. This can be explained by the fact that relations with the western neighbor at this time reached the peak of tension due to territorial disputes and in 1978 almost led to war. In general, this period marks the peak of Buenos Aires' territorial ambitions in South America, when military governments planned to solve economic problems through geopolitical expansion [3, p. 68].

The structure of Argentina's relations with other States, as we have already mentioned, has changed markedly during this period. Treaties with European countries (to which we include the USSR here) now accounted for a little more than half (52%), the share of countries in the Western Hemisphere increased from 20 to 27%, and the share of Asia, Africa and Oceania increased sevenfold, from 3% to 21%. We repeat that the 9% that Africa received is largely explained by the documents on the recognition of new states by Buenos Aires after decolonization, but, as we will see, the Argentine government had a special interest in a number of countries in the region.

With a more detailed examination of each region, new trends can also be noted. Thus, in the Western Hemisphere, while maintaining almost the same share of treaties with South America, the number of treaties with Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean countries has tripled (see Figure 5). This was due to a drop in the share of contracts with the United States and Canada from 43% to 25%. Here, of course, the liberation of the Caribbean colonies played a role, but also the much greater activity of Mexico City and Havana. Moreover, here we can see the growth of cooperation between even distant LAC countries and their desire for integration.

The top ten European countries with which the largest number of treaties were concluded now include the USSR (eighth place), as well as Yugoslavia and Romania. It is noteworthy that the relations of Buenos Aires with Moscow were restored in 1946. As part of his "Third Way", H. Peron signed the Soviet-Argentine trade agreement in 1953, the first agreement of its kind between the USSR and a Latin American country [4, p.115]. Returning to the analysis of the "top ten", we note that Germany (FRG) has now taken the first place, while France, which was previously in the lead, is only the fifth. An unprecedented high number of contracts were concluded with Germany during this period – 121 against 72 for Spain, which is in second place, and 64 for Italy, which took third place. The explanation for this may be the inevitable restructuring of Germany after the defeat in World War II and the occupation, accompanied by the renegotiation of outdated agreements. It should also be noted that Italy and Spain continue to be among the top three in the statistics of Argentine treaties with Europe during this period. It is known that "Peron's policy towards Spain was entirely friendly and conciliatory (conciliatoria)" [1, p. 160]. In general, with the exception of Germany's sharp breakaway, the differences between the first and last in the European top ten have become less noticeable. Given that this period falls during the Cold War, it makes sense to assess the relationship between Argentina and its parties in Europe. It is quite predictable – 66% of contracts were concluded with members of the Western Bloc, and only 19% with the Eastern Bloc, the remaining 15% were occupied by neutrals. Contacts with the Eastern Bloc were most actively tried to develop by the Peronist President E. Campora, under whom several important treaties were signed with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, the GDR and the USSR [1, p.288]. However, it must be remembered that some of the treaties concluded under the Peronist governments of the early 1970s were never ratified. [5, p.28]

In Asia, cooperation with Japan was the most intense, followed by China by a noticeable margin, then Israel and India had a significant share of contracts. Libya was absolutely in the lead in Africa, followed by Gabon and Egypt. Libya and Gabon are oil–producing countries, and the increased number of contracts with them is explained by Argentina's needs for cheap petroleum products. Thus, the Peronist governments agreed with Gaddafi on the exchange of Libyan oil for Argentine grain, which was positioned as an example of the "Third Way" [5, p.29].

As a result of the analysis of the second period, we can list ten states outside Latin America with which the largest number of treaties were concluded: Germany, the USA, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Japan, Romania, the USSR. Note that of the Asian countries, only Japan is present in the top ten, while China, even in total with Taiwan, took only 16th place, and India in general 28th. Despite the "Third Way" and the increased attention of Buenos Aires to non-Western countries, the intensity of relations with them still remained low.

Let us turn to the analysis of the third stage of the development of Argentina's foreign policy, which began in 1983 with the return to democracy and continues to this day. At this time, the growth of Buenos Aires' attention to most countries of the world was even more clearly marked compared to neighboring countries, which now accounted for only 30% of all contracts (see Figure 2 and Figure 3). During this period, the distribution among the neighbors can no longer be called uniform, since Chile (32%) and Brazil (29%) clearly stood out as the main partners of Argentina. The first of these countries has the longest border with Argentina, more than five thousand kilometers long, the second is the largest and most developed in the region, so the reasons for the priorities are obvious. At the previous stages of the development of Argentine foreign policy, attempts were also made to develop cooperation with them, but only after democratization was it possible to achieve large-scale progress, which affected the number of treaties.

The distribution of treaties with other States at the third stage has become even less Eurocentric (see Figure 4). Now Europe, even taking into account the USSR (and later the Russian Federation), has gained only 38%, that is, the situation has become almost a mirror image in relation to the first stage of Argentine foreign policy.  The importance of the Western Hemisphere has grown (and, as we will see later, not at the expense of the United States), as well as Asia and Oceania. However, the growth of Asia was no longer as great as during the transition from the first to the second stage, and the share of Africa even slightly decreased. The latter, of course, is due to the fact that it was no longer necessary to conclude diplomatic relations with many new countries.

In relation to those countries of the Western Hemisphere with which Argentina has no common borders, the trend of the previous stage continued – the decline in the share of treaties with the United States and Canada and the increase in the share of treaties with Mexico, Central American countries and States on the Caribbean islands (see Figure 5). However, during this period, the United States still occupies the third place in the world and the second (after Venezuela) in the Western Hemisphere (except for Argentina's neighbors), as well as the second place outside the Latin American region.

If we look beyond the Latin American region, the dozen countries with which the largest number of treaties were concluded during this period consist of Italy, the USA, China, Germany, Spain, France, the USSR and subsequently the Russian Federation, Japan, Great Britain, India. At the same time, the difference between Italy and India exceeds four and a half times, but the very appearance of a country in the top ten, which previously occupied only 28th place, indicates large-scale shifts. Let's note the exit of the PRC to the third place (from the sixteenth) and the USSR (and later the Russian Federation) to the eighth (from the tenth). The fall of Great Britain from fourth to ninth place is easily explained by the rupture of relations due to the Falklands War. This war, as A. Babik rightly notes, had not only short-term, but also long-term consequences for the foreign policy of Buenos Aires [6].  It should be noted that Italy in this conflict demonstrated cautious support for Buenos Aires, opposing the European policy of sanctions, and after the democratization of Argentina gave it a privileged place in its foreign policy [7]. During the period under study, such an event as the collapse of the USSR also occurred, and Argentina began to develop ties with the post-Soviet republics that gained independence. She paid special attention to Ukraine and Armenia, which ended up in the top ten European countries with the largest number of treaties.

When analyzing ties with Asia in 1983-2022, we see the absolute dominance of the PRC, which surpassed Japan twice in terms of the number of treaties (second place) and India four times (third place). In Africa, the situation has changed in the most radical way – not only the previously dominant Libya was only in seventh place, but Gabon disappeared from the top ten altogether, and South Africa, which previously occupied the fourteenth place, was established in the first place. This is understandable not only from the point of view of the increased economic importance of this country, but also due to the fact that South Africa, which overcame apartheid, was considered by Argentina, which overcame the dictatorship, as a more ideologically acceptable country than Libya, which is under sanctions.

Now let's turn to the analysis of the dynamics of relations over the past hundred years with specific, the most significant countries in the world – Russia (and earlier the USSR), the USA and China. Of course, we must not forget that relations with the USSR were restored only in 1946, and with the PRC they were established only in 1972. But we take a century-long period for the sake of demonstrating Argentina's relations with the United States, and before 1972 we take Taiwan into account as "China" (there were still few treaties with it). We look at the graph in Figure 6.

 

Figure 6. Dynamics of concluding contracts with the USA, China and the Russian Federation (formerly the USSR). Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina

 

This graph shows summation by decades in order to avoid unnecessary jerks due to those years when no contracts were concluded. Thus, for example, the value of the point "1970" is the sum of contracts for the ten years preceding it (1960-1969). We see how the gradual increase in contacts with the United States in the 1940s and 1950s is replaced by a leap upward in the 1960s, a decline in the 1970s, a smooth growth in the 1980s and a rapid take-off between 1990 and 2000. By 2010, the number of concluded contracts is falling almost to the level of twenty years ago, and continues to move down by 2020. The schedule of relations with China at first, until 1990, is relatively similar to the American-Argentine schedule, but then it takes the opposite direction – it falls in the 1990s, and since the 2000s it begins to rise more and more rapidly. Finally, the chart reflecting the number of agreements concluded between Argentina and the Russian Federation occupies a kind of intermediate position between the Argentine-American and Argentine-Chinese charts. On the one hand, it increased in the 1990s, although not as sharply as the American one, and then it also fell in the 2000s. On the other hand, it began to grow after 2010, although not as sharply as the schedule of Argentina's agreements with China.

Now let's look at the graphs of Argentina's relations with a dozen non-Latin American countries in more detail. We will divide the period 1983-2019 into presidential terms. Since the duration of these terms and the foreign policy activity of the Argentine presidents were different, we will show not the absolute number of treaties, but their shares of the total number of treaties under this president. The information on the agreements concluded by the current President A. Fernandez turned out to be clearly incomplete, and therefore we will finish the diagram on his predecessor M. Macri. We will also combine F. de la Rua with the interim presidents who followed him, since it makes no sense to consider them separately because of the brevity of their rule. In order to avoid overflowing the chart with graphs, we will combine the shares of Western European countries (Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain) into one chart, and Asian countries (China, India, Japan) will be placed on a separate chart. At the same time, the shares of the top ten are calculated, of course, taking into account all ten countries, that is, only summing up the countries of Europe, China, Russia, the USA, India and Japan, we will get about 100% (slightly more than 100, taking into account rounding).

 

Figure 7. Agreements with the USA, Europe, China and the Russian Federation on presidential terms. Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina

 

In Figure 7, we can see that the trends of the previous chart with the bright ups and downs of the graphs are not so unambiguous from the point of view of the policies of specific presidents. Compared to the absolutely dominant united Europe, the charts of the USA, Russia and China are already moving more smoothly. As a result, the Russian and Chinese charts during the recent reign of M. Macri are no longer increasing, but falling, while Europe is growing after the failure under K. Fernandez. Why is there such a discrepancy with the previous chart? The fact is that the shares in the top ten are indicated here, not absolute numbers. And therefore, the growth of contracts with the PRC and the Russian Federation in absolute numbers turned out to be more significant compared to the growth of their share in the top ten. In addition, the previous diagram covered one hundred years by decades, and in one decade the presidencies of K. Fernandez and M. Macri turned out to be completely different in orientation, who fundamentally "revised the foreign policy course, making rapprochement with the United States a key direction" [8, p. 217]. The diagram in Figure 10 leads us to the following conclusions about Argentine foreign policy in 1983-2019. Firstly, Europe has been and remains the main landmark of Buenos Aires. It occupies an average of 54% of the top ten during this period. Its significance was shaken only during the period of "Kirchnerism". The disappearance of Europe from among the main diplomatic partners of Buenos Aires during this period is also indicated by Argentine authors, for example, A. Bousso and L. Barreto [9]. However, the graph shows that even then it retained superiority over Argentina's ties with China and the Russian Federation. Secondly, relations with the United States were most active under K. Menem, who, as is known, sought maximum rapprochement with Washington [10]. They then gradually reduced the intensity, however, without falling below the minimum share of 7% of the top ten. The average share of the USA is 13%. Thirdly, relations with China in this diagram represent almost a mirror image of relations with the United States. The average share of China is 14%. Fourth, the share of the Russian Federation is impressively stable at first, and is growing under N. Kirchner and K. Fernandez due to the fall in the share of Europe, and not due to the fall in the share of the United States – this is clearly seen due to the mirroring of the graphs of Europe and the Russian Federation. The average share of the Russian Federation is 10% of contracts. While the PRC more or less retains its positions under the presidency of M. Macri, the Russian Federation is beginning to lose them. However, from a qualitative rather than quantitative point of view, "the course for the Russian-Argentine strategic partnership, formed under K. Fernandez, remained after the change of power in Argentina" [11, p. 184].  We could expect a new growth in the share of the Russian Federation under A. Fernandez, but, as mentioned, the information in the database on his board is still incomplete. In addition, after the start of the special operation in Ukraine, many countries are afraid of incurring Washington's displeasure because of contacts with Moscow. Here it is appropriate to mention the theory of "peripheral realism" by the Argentine political scientist K. Escuda, which explains the above-mentioned constancy of the importance of Europe and the United States for Argentina. The essence of the recommendations of this theory is that "weaker states under the influence of hegemonic power should not try to achieve a high expensive level of autonomy at the expense of their citizens" [12, p.56]. In other words, as long as the United States and Europe dominate world politics, the governments of regional powers either cooperate with them, or pay with prosperity for independence. Most governments choose obedience, but with X. Perone and the Peronists (except K. Menem), Argentina made attempts to be autonomous. The new peronist President A. Fernandez will also have to choose between pragmatics and ideology [13, p. 11]. Researchers suggest that in the conditions of the crisis state of the global political and economic environment, Argentina will try to avoid an unambiguous choice and balance between the United States and China, declaring its neutrality [14].

Now let's look at the shares of individual European countries – Great Britain, France, Germany (counting the GDR) - on a special chart (Figure 8). We do not consider Italy and Spain here, so as not to complicate the scheme, and since contacts with them are largely due to historical and cultural ties, and not global politics. We see that the share of Germany, which prevailed under the first three presidents, falls deeply during the period of "Kirchnerism". We also see that in the subsequent recovery of the share of Europe under M. Macri (see the previous diagram), France, previously poorly represented, played a key role in it. Relations with Great Britain, of course, were spoiled due to the Falklands War even earlier in the period under review and only briefly increased to 10% under K. Menem, and then again took a low share.

 

Figure 8. Agreements with Great Britain, Germany and France by presidential terms. Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.

Finally, we turn to the chart showing the shares of the Russian Federation and Asian countries in the top ten 1983-2019. (Figure 9). Here , the decline in the share of Japan and India under F. de la Rua, while the Russian Federation maintained a stable position, and the share of the PRC increased. This, apparently, is due to the fact that Argentina in the era of crisis could not afford to spend efforts on anyone other than global powers. In the future, Buenos Aires' diplomatic contacts with Tokyo and New Delhi are growing smoothly, against the background of sharper jerks in relations with Russia and China.

Figure 9. Agreements with the Russian Federation, China, India and Japan by presidential terms. Source: the author's work based on the materials of the Electronic Library of Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.

 

Thus, we can outline the contours of the evolution of Argentine foreign policy. Until the 1940s, Buenos Aires' diplomatic activity focused on five neighboring countries and to a lesser extent on the powers of Western Europe. Neither the rest of Latin America, nor the United States, nor even Asia and Africa attracted the attention of Argentina. This was largely due to the very configuration of international relations during this period – with the absolute dominance of Europe and with weak ties between the regions. In the 1940s, two factors that determine the beginning of a new era coincide - cardinal changes in world politics and the emergence in Argentina of leaders striving for an active and independent course. A rapid increase in the number of contracts concluded with other countries is beginning. Relations with neighbors and Europe no longer occupy the overwhelming part of diplomatic activity. All these trends continue after 1983, when Argentina returned from a military regime to democracy. Moreover, China has taken an important place among Argentina's partners in the Eastern Hemisphere, and Russia has strengthened its position compared to the Soviet period. However, relations with the United States and European countries continued to remain in the priorities of Buenos Aires, as can be seen from the trends on the charts. It should be added that the current President A. Fernandez has demonstrated the desire to diversify foreign policy, formulated in the statement given at the beginning of the article, but the practical possibilities for its implementation in the current international situation are limited.



References
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