Bilateral Relations Being Strengthened
The US is to donate three PROTECTOR-class coast guard vessels to the Uruguayan National Navy through the Excess Defense Article (EDA) programme, under which DoD gifts or sells surplus defence equipment at a reduced price to allied nations.
Uruguay was invited to visually inspect the vessels in advance of the transfer, scheduled for an undetermined date in April. The recipient nation will defray the conditioning and transport costs associated with the transfer.
Renewing the naval fleet is a priority for Uruguay. Given budget limitations, such renewal programmes rely heavily on international cooperation. Relations between Washington and Montevideo have been reinvigorated under the current government, with last year seeing the return of the Uruguayan Navy as a participant in the Unitas naval exercises and a port visit by the US Coast Guard’s most modern vessel, as part of a US government project to strengthen cooperation against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the South Atlantic.
Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenos Aires for MON