Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday appealed to Mexico’s Congress for support in the war against Russia, as both Kyiv and Moscow seek to reinforce ties in the Americas.
“Your vote in the UN General Assembly and other international organizations is very important. It is the vote to defend the principles and objectives of the UN Charter and therefore to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine and all nations of the world,” Zelensky told Mexican lawmakers in his speech, via video-link, that received a standing ovation.
Zelensky’s appeal comes after many Latin American countries have adopted a policy of non-intervention over the war in Ukraine, rebuffing efforts led by United States President Joe Biden to unite the global community in opposition to Russia’s invasion.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has raised eyebrows among Ukraine supporters for criticizing Western arms shipments into Kyiv. Still, Mexico has voted alongside the United States in UN resolutions calling for Russia to leave Ukraine.
Russia in Brazil and Cuba
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has meanwhile been on a trip around Latin America in a bid to strengthen ties with regional allies, stopping in Havana, Cuba, on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Lavrov met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has criticized US military assistance to Ukraine as “encouraging war” – words that White House national security spokesperson John Kirby later described as “deeply problematic” for “suggesting that the United States and Europe are somehow not interested in peace, or that we share responsibility for the war.”
“Quite frankly, in this case, Brazil was parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without at all looking at the facts,” Kirby said Monday.
China, an increasingly close ally to Russia, is Brazil’s greatest trading partner.
Lula recently returned from a multi-day trip to Shanghai and Beijing, where he met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The two leaders discussed forming a group of like-minded leaders on Ukraine, according to Lula.
The Brazilian President has sought be a global statesman who could broker a truce between Russia and Ukraine, and controversially suggested Kyiv should relinquish sovereignty claims over Crimea in exchange to the end of the conflict.
That’s a view Kirby on Monday described as “simply misguided – especially for a country like Brazil, which has voted to uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, quite frankly, at the UN General Assembly.”
Zelensky has ruled out peace talks as long as Putin remains in power.
Josh Pennington and CNN’s DJ Judd contributed to this report.