Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: Google

By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

Mykhailo Podolyak, chief advisor to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Saturday, Sept. 17, charged Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) of promoting a Russian political agenda to justify Moscow’s illegal invasion of Ukrainian territory through the pretense of his so-called peace plan.

Mincing no words in a tweet released Saturday morning, Podolyak, warned that AMLO’s proposal to pause all aggression within Ukraine for five years would only give Russia time to consolidate its acquisitions, rearm and continue invading his country.

Peacemakers who use war as a topic for their own PR are causing only surprise. @lopezobrador, is your plan to keep millions under occupation, increase the number of mass burials and give Russia time to renew reserves before the next offensive? Then your ‘plan’ is a Russian plan,” Podolyak wrote.

The Ukrainian official went on to say that despite López Obrador’s blatant support of Russia, he believed that “the vast majority of Mexicans understand the meaning of freedom and the reasons for which Ukraine is fighting.”

On Monday, Sept. 12, AMLO, a staunch supporter of Russia and all things communist, stated that he intended to present “a plan” to the United Nations that would end Russia’s war in Ukraine.

That unsolicited plan, the self-appointed “global mediator” explained, would involve the creation of a arbitrating committee composed of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis.

Under Lopez Obrador’s plan, the trio of leaders would initiate talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Zelensky to negotiate a five-year truce.

Although AMLO did not elaborate much about how his plan would work, it seemed to ignore the fact that Russia illegally invaded Ukraine and its armies have since displaced millions of Ukrainians, killed thousands of civilians and left numerous cities, towns and villages in total ruin.

Since taking office in December 2018, López Obrador — whose election campaign was allegedly financed, at least in part, by Russia, according to some U.S. national security sources at the time — has worked to bolster Mexico’s commercial and economic ties with Moscow.

Last year, Russia sold more than $8.7 billion in goods and services to Mexico (up from just over $1.5 billion before AMLO took office), and there are now 108 Russian companies with capital holdings in Mexico.

Moreover on Feb. 25, just as Putin’s troops were ruthlessly grabbing control of Kiev, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, Lukoil, was signing the final acquisition papers on a 50-percent operator interest in an offshore Mexican oil project (the fruit of initial Russian oil dealings with AMLO immediately after he took office).

Lukoil put the transaction value of the deal at $435 million, plus expenditures of another $250 million.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, during Mexico’s Independence Day military parade, AMLO, bookended by his “guests of honor,” former Bolivian President Evo Morales and former Uruguayan President and Tupamaros guerilla fighter José Mujica, López Obrador condemned the role the United Nations, along with what he called the “great powers,” for censuring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

López Obrador went on to say that Western powers have “positioned themselves” in the conflict “only to serve their own hegemonic interests” and to fuel the war industry.

And on Sunday, Sept. 18, López Obrador responded to Podolyak’s tweet by saying that those who rejected his plan were motivated by “sectarianism and elite interests.”

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