By MARK LORENZANA
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on the morning of Monday, Oct. 10, insisted that the agreement between Mexico and Russia for “space research for peace purposes” does not have elements of espionage, and that it was a pact agreed upon since September 2021, at least five months before the Moscow invasion of Ukraine.
“It is a treaty that was signed last year, in September, before the war between Russia and Ukraine,” López Obrador said during his daily morning press conference at the National Palace, in response to a question posed by one of the journalists.
“Now a scandal is being stirred up because there is talk that Mexico is allowing Russian satellites to spy on Mexican and North American airspace. The truth is that these agreements are signed with all countries and are not intended to spy on anyone, or to affect the sovereignty of any nation.”
The Russian embassy in Mexico confirmed that an intergovernmental agreement has already been ratified for Mexico to use the Glonass satellite system “for peace purposes.”
The system, which already operates in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Brazil, will develop an optical-electronic system “to prevent dangerous space situations in Mexico,” according to the Kremlin, in a document posted on its official website.
However, Dolia Estévez, a Mexican journalist specializing in security issues, said that this system has been used in other countries “for espionage purposes.”
Estévez said various analysts in Washington point out that the expansion of Glonass is part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strategy to incorporate Latin America into his zone of influence, since this system already operates in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Brazil.
López Obrador, in the Monday press conference, likewise reiterated Mexico’s neutrality regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Don’t get us into an argument. There is a lot of propaganda going around, wanting to convince people that there are good guys and bad guys in this war. Everything becomes a scandal,” he said.