Mexico City, Mar 1 (EFE).- Mexico will not impose any economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday.
The leftist president’s decision contrasts with moves by countries and blocs such as the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and even historically neutral Switzerland to take retaliatory action in response to Russia’s aggression.
Among other actions, the EU, the US, the UK and several allies have agreed to ban a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT global messaging service, which facilitates payments among thousands of financial institutions worldwide.
The US and EU also have joined with other countries in preventing the Russian Central Bank from deploying its large store of hard-currency reserves to ease the impact of other sanctions.
“We’re not going to take any type of economic reprisal,” AMLO said when asked about the matter at his daily press conference at the National Palace.
He explained that he is acting in keeping with Mexico’s tradition of working to end conflict through diplomacy and dialogue, although he clarified that to date he has not spoken with either Russian President Vladimir Putin or Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“We don’t interfere. It’s very clear. We’re against invasions by Russia, China, the United States. No invasions. We’ve already made our position known (as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council),” AMLO said.
The president added that his government is working through the UN to ensure that humanitarian aid can reach the people of Ukraine.
“We can’t fall into a protagonistic role that has nothing to do with the restraint that should prevail in foreign policy.”
AMLO also stressed that his administration will assist people anywhere in the world who ask for help.
“Mexico is a brotherly country that takes care of, protects the persecuted, refugees, and we’ll keep doing that. But in the economic sphere, we can’t close our territory to anybody,” he said.
In that respect, he said he opposes Twitter’s move to label and limit the reach of tweets linking to Russian state-affiliated news sources “There are complaints that if someone has an opinion on this conflict and they consider it favorable to Russia, they delete it or put a label on (the tweet). That’s censorship,” AMLO said.
Mexico’s president denounced the invasion last week and urged Russia to cease its attacks, but he stressed his country’s political independence.
“That’s our position. In this case, it’s Russia. But it would be the same for China or the United States. We want countries’ independence to be respected, the sovereignty of peoples,” he said then. EFE