Creation of a Congressional Mexico-Russian Friendship Group Unleashes U.S. and Ukrainian Protest
March 27, 2022 (EIRNS)—The official creation on March 23 of a Mexico-Russia Friendship Group in Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, made up of deputies from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena Party and the Workers’ Party (PT), with one member from the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), provoked immediate protest from the U.S. and Ukrainian ambassadors, as well as from opposition legislators. Outside the session establishing the group, Deputy Jorge Alvarez of the Citizens Movement (MC) said it was an act of “parliamentary impertinence and impudence” to create such a group at a time when Russia was “invading Ukraine and massacring its people,” Forbes reported him as saying.
Russian Ambassador Viktor Koronelli, who attended the founding session, expressed his gratitude to the Mexican President and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard for saying that the government will never impose sanctions on Russia or send weapons to Ukraine, describing Mexico as “one of our oldest and most important partners in the Latin American region.” He described the years of war waged against the Donbas region, the barbaric killings of 15,000 people there and the Ukrainians’ fascist tactics today of using civilians as human shields. Russia didn’t start the war, he said, “but it is now ending it,” El Sol del Centro quoted him as saying.
In a blatant intervention into Mexico’s internal affairs, Ukraine’s Ambassador Oksana Dramaretska immediately denounced the group’s creation, calling it “a disgrace,” and charging that “to support the murderers ... is to participate in their crimes.” Mexico City News reported that she told Milenio TV she understood why Mexico didn’t send weapons to Ukraine, given its non-interventionist foreign policy, and thanked Mexico for denouncing Russia at the UN. But very provocatively, she said she was asking Mexico to “consider applying sanctions against Russia because to have business as usual with Russia in these times is to support this war, to support the massacre of people.”
Perhaps to portray Mexico’s foreign policy as “balanced,” on March 24, another bunch of deputies, including some from the Morena Party, officially created the Mexico-U.S. Friendship Group and invited U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar to attend. Several of them stood up to denounce Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine. Salazar then took the floor to emphasize that the U.S.-Mexican alliance “is forever,” and that the two nations should unite in condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine. “We have to be in solidarity with Ukraine and against Russia,” he intoned. Telling Mexico which countries it could have relations with, Salazar continued, “I believe that the Ambassador of Russia [Koronelli], who was here yesterday making noise, [said] that Mexico and Russia were very close. Sorry, that can never happen, it can never happen,” the Mexico City News quoted him.
Implying that Russia is emulating Adolf Hitler’s tactics, Salazar said, “In World War II, there was no distance between Mexico and the United States, [we were] united against what Hitler and the others were doing to defeat humanity and freedom.” Adding that he never thought he would see something like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he warned that the war would affect Mexico. “I’m asking you, the deputies who have so much strength ... [to see] what Russia did attacking Ukraine ... it’s an attack against freedom and the way of life of all of us.”