Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday defended the inclusion of a contingent of Russian soldiers in the country’s Independence Day military parade over the weekend, which drew criticism from Ukraine.
“All the governments with which Mexico has relations were invited. It’s always been done. It is done by the Ministry of Defense…Even the secretaries of defense of two or three countries and military representatives from many countries of the world came on the 16th,” Lopez Obrador said in his morning briefing.
The honor guard battalion of the Preobrazhensky Regiment, belonging to Russia’s Western Military Region, marched alongside a number of military delegations from several countries including Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Panama, Nepal, Guatemala, Honduras, South Korea, Brazil, Belize, Uruguay and Sri Lanka.
However, the invitation and presence of the Russian delegation drew criticism.
Through her account on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Ukrainian ambassador to Mexico, Oksana Dramaretska, called out the Mexican government’s decision to invite the Russian contingent to the parade.
“The Civic Military Parade in CDMX, stained by the participation of a Russian regiment: their boots and hands of war criminals are stained with blood,” Dramaretska wrote. “How coherent is, Mr. @lopezobrador, your policy of neutrality and your condemnation of the aggression (of Russia) against my country?”
Lopez Obrador responded, saying: “It caught my attention because China also took part in the parade and there was not so much fuss. It was all Russia.”
Nearly 500,000 Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded since the war in Ukraine began in February 2022.
Russian military casualties amount to nearly 120,000 according to US officials, while Ukraine is said to have reported a loss of 70,000 troops.
Source : aa