Mexico ticks off Ukraine – And why shouldn’t it?


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday defended the presence of a Russian military unit in a weekend parade marking Mexico’s independence day, following sharp criticism his country had given a platform to forces that invaded Ukraine.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Mexico, opposition politicians and critical media blasted the decision to allow a Russian unit to participate on Saturday, but Lopez Obrador said Mexico had allowed any country to join in.

While many are clutching their pearls that the Mexicans allowed this – we should remember that Mexico isn’t involved in this war and is in fact neutral as is most of South America where there are many economic ties with Russia. If we demand our sovereignty we should respect it in others.

From the Wilson Center

As a non-permanent member of the UN’s Security Council, Mexico has built a diplomatic position based on four points: a peaceful solution to conflict, support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, the condemnation of Russia’s invasion, and humanitarian aid. It was relatively easy to uphold in the UN, where a majority of countries (140) approved two resolutions in the General Assembly: one to condemn the invasion of Ukraine (March 2nd), and the other about humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people (March 24th), the latter being of joint Mexico and France authorship.

However, Mexico drew a clear red line to separate their position from the rest of Latin America by abstaining from voting in the General Assembly on the matter of Russia’s suspension from the Human Rights Committee for human rights and international law violations. In contrast, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru all voted in favor of the resolution, while Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua all voted against.