Mexican president updates position on Ukraine conflict

Mexico’s leader says he doesn’t “accept” Moscow’s attack, but notes past invasions of his own country by US, France, and Spain

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after weeks of trying to remain neutral on the conflict. However, he managed to do so while reminding the world that some of Moscow’s fiercest critics have previously invaded his own country.

“We do not accept Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because we have suffered from invasions,”Lopez Obrador stated this on Saturday via video. Mexico was at times the victim of invading forces from the USA, France and Spain.

Lopez Obrador issued his video statement to be included in Saturday’s ‘Stand Up for Ukraine’A fundraising campaign, which organizers claim aims at raising money to aid the Ukrainian refugee crisis. The Mexican president declined Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invitation to attend the event, but he agreed to release a statement speaking out against the “Russian invasion.”

Lopez Obrador had previously resisted international pressure to condemn Moscow, saying it was his country’s policy to “maintain good relations with all countries of the world.” Last month, US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar urged Mexican lawmakers to side against Moscow, declaring, “We have to be in solidarity with Ukraine and against Russia.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Mexico, Oksana Dramaretska, ramped up the pressure last week by tweeting picturesThere are many bodies lying on the streets from Ukraine to Lopez Obrador. “Do you really want to continue friendly relations with those in the Kremlin who are committing genocide after this?”She asked the president. “The whole world is coordinating efforts to bring Russia to justice. We need the support of Mexico.”

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at a press event in Mexico City, January 17, 2022. © Mexican Presidency/AFP
President says his country is ‘pacifist,’ unlike EU

Nevertheless, Lopez Obrador’s comments likely weren’t as pointed as some of his critics would have liked. He didn’t accuse Russia, like Trudeau, US President Joe Biden, did, and he made no mention of Mexico joining in the imposition sanctions on Moscow. He was more general about his objection to war than he was condemning specific Russian actions.

“We are in favor of a peaceful solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine,”He said. “Peace must be reached so that neither the people of Ukraine nor the people of Russia nor any other nation in the world continues to suffer from such absurdity because wars are disgraceful and must never be sought.”

Lopez Obrador’s comments come amid political turmoil at home. He faces a vote on Sunday over whether he should stay in office for the three years remaining on his term – the first such referendum in Mexico’s history. Opponents branded the move a political stunt that cost too much.



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