Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Mexico condemns Russian invasion; Ukrainians urge boycott of Russian products

Mexico has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for an immediate ceasefire in the eastern European nation.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard conveyed the message on behalf of the Mexican government in a video message posted to social media Thursday evening.

He said President López Obrador had asked him to communicate the instructions given to Mexico’s permanent representative to the United Nations to guide the country’s actions on the UN Security Council, of which it is a non-permanent member, and other international forums.

“It’s very clear to us that we’re dealing with an invasion, there’s no longer any doubt about that. It’s an operation with a scale that covers almost the entire territory of Ukraine,” Ebrard said. “… Our main position is to reject the use of force and vigorously condemn the presence of Russian Federation forces in Ukrainian territory.”

The foreign minister noted that Mexico was invaded twice by France and twice by the United States before declaring that “due to history and tradition, due to our formation as a nation, we have to reject and vigorously condemn the invasion of a country like Ukraine by a power such as Russia.”

“We demand that the Russian Federation cease the military operations in Ukrainian territory, that they respect [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity [and] that its civilian population be protected. We’re going to continue insisting on the need for a diplomatic way out and support the secretary-general of the United Nations in his difficult task at this time. These are the instructions that I’ve just shared with our [UN] ambassador in New York, Juan Ramón de la Fuente,” Ebrard said.

“Mexico … calls for an immediate ceasefire that allows a diplomatic way out, protects the population and avoids suffering,” he added.

The video was posted to social media just hours after Ukraine’s ambassador to Mexico, Oksana Dramaretsha, called on Mexico to condemn Russia’s aggression and take a “clear position” on the conflict.

Ebrard said earlier Thursday that Mexico wasn’t considering suspending diplomatic relations with Russia.

“We’re maintaining the relations with the Russian Federation, it’s one of the things we have to do – maintain dialogue with the different parties that are unfortunately participating in this conflict,” he said.

Ukrainians protesting outside the Russian embassy in Mexico City on Thursday called on Mexicans to boycott Russian products to show their opposition to the assault on their homeland.

Ukrainians and supporters protest outside the Russian embassy in Mexico City on Thursday.
Ukrainians and supporters protest outside the Russian embassy in Mexico City on Thursday.

About 50 of an estimated 400 Ukraine citizens who live in Mexico City attended the protest, the newspaper El Universal reported. One woman said that bigger protests will be held in the coming days.

Mexico imports a range of products from Russia that could be part of a boycott. They include steel, iron, aluminum, fertilizer and chemicals, as well as consumer products such as vodka, beer, chocolate, shoes, bags and clothes.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Russia was Mexico’s 35th largest trading partner in 2020 with two-way trade worth just under US $1.3 billion. Russian products accounted for two-thirds of that amount.

Among Mexico’s main exports to Russia in 2020 were cars, telephones and beer.

With reports from Milenio and El Universal 

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