Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday that no economic penalties will be imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.
He also chastised social media corporations for what he called suppression of Russian state-sponsored media.
“We will not face any economic retaliation because we want to maintain good ties with all governments across the world,” Lopez Obrador said at a press conference.
The viewpoint of Lopez Obrador contrasts sharply with the extensive international sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of President Vladimir Putin’s conduct.
Russia has developed significant relationships with a number of Latin American governments, particularly authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, but its ties with Mexico are considered as limited due to the strong US-Mexico relationship.
The economies of Mexico and the United States are inextricably linked. However, Lopez Obrador, a leftist leader, has had tense relations with the US at times and has attacked US foreign policy.
In a tweet late Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he spoke by phone with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, “reiterating the worldwide call for Russia’s troops to withdraw from Ukraine.”
In a separate tweet, Ebrard stated that during the discussion, which he described as amicable, he communicated Mexico’s views on Ukraine. Last week, Ebrard denounced the invasion and asked that Russia cease its military actions in Ukraine, taking a more aggressive posture than Lopez Obrador’s plea for discussion.
Russia’s efforts in Ukraine are referred to as a “special operation.”
Lopez Obrador made the remarks in answer to a question on Russia’s second-largest oil company Lukoil and Russian airline Aeroflot’s interest in Mexico.
Lukoil announced on Friday that it has completed the purchase of a 50% operator stake in an offshore oil project in Mexico, as part of its worldwide expansion strategy.
The Mexican president also chastised what he described as Russian official media suppression.
“I disagree with the reality that Russian or any other country’s media is controlled,” Lopez Obrador stated.
Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., has prohibited Russia’s state-owned media outlet RT and other channels from collecting money for advertisements on their websites, apps, and YouTube videos, similar to a step made by Facebook during the invasion of Ukraine.