Russia tries energy diplomacy close to US shores

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently finished a swing through Latin America which he spent arranging energy deals—but that's not the only thing he hopes the trip will achieve.

Russian President, left, greets Cuban President Raul Castro during an official visit at Revolution Palace in Havana, Cuba.
Dmitry Azarov | Kommersant Photo | Getty Images

According to an analysis from, Putin managed to put together a number of energy deals with Brazil, Argentina and Cuba—including an oil exploration pact with the latter nation.

Energy is Russia's chief export and source of international influence, but Putin's "broader strategy," Oilprice said, is to "erode U.S. influence in what has traditionally been America's geopolitical backyard."

Russia regards U.S. and Western European involvement in Ukraine as meddling in its own sphere of influence. The energy markets play a major role in the conflict there, which has resulted in increased tensions between Russia on the one side and Ukraine, the European Union and the United States on the other.

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