BUENOS AIRES: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Argentine counterpart Cristina Kirchner called on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) for a multipolar world order as Moscow sought to boost ties with Latin America amid heightened East-West tensions. Putin is on a six-day tour seeking to increase Moscow’s influence in the region at a time when the Ukraine crisis has eroded Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe to their lowest point since the Cold War. His itinerary includes meetings with a string of leftist leaders critical of the United States and a summit of the BRICS group of emerging countries—an agenda that neatly aligns with his push for a multipolar world less dominated by the West. BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Kirchner is meanwhile waging her own fight against Washington, battling a US court ruling that Argentina must pay more than $1.3 billion by the end of the month to hedge funds refusing to accept the restructuring of the country’s defaulted debt.