Is Russia after Mexico?

The Kremlin seems to see the opportunity to attract Peña Nieto by offering innovative cooperation

Is Russia after Mexico?

Since the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House, he seems to have declared a war against Mexico and the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. This lead the Spanish speaking nation to search for international allies, such as China and Russia. “Trump chose Mexico as his first foreign enemy; portrayed him [Peña Nieto] as an immediate threat on his own border, so President Peña Nieto must have reacted by seeking a new national alliance and a new international correlation, and found open doors", says Ruben Aguilar Valenzuela Professor of the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico.

China showed interested in the Mexican production and started looking for ways to create a more dynamic trade flow that would allow the two countries a more equitable option in earnings. The Asian country has seen the opportunity to take over the direct zone of influence of the United States and thus take advantage of the tension that seems to exist between the Latin American country and the Western superpower.

But the nation that saw a more appetizing opportunity was Russia. It not only saw the potential new alliance as an economic opportunity, but also from the political and the geostrategic point of view. It seems as if Putin’s administration had been following the shifts in the international relations between the United States and the world, especially when it came to Mexico. This could be the nation’s opportunity to revive the tension lived during the Cold War by influencing on a neighboring country of the US; “it is not unreasonable to think that Russia would be well advised to count in Mexico as a hostile ally to the US government and contrary to the Free Trade Agreement, despite the support it gave to the Trump campaign; geopolitics does not have principles but interests”, affirmed Aguilar.

The Mexican Deputy Foreign Secretary Carlos de Icaza and Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov have been at the forefront of the talks; the agenda seems to have been organized to create close and enduring political relations. In terms of cooperation, the two officials will hold the V meeting of the Joint Commission for Cultural, Educational and Sports Cooperation, which will take place in November. There is also the VI meeting of the Joint Commission for Economic, Commercial, Scientific, Technical and Maritime Transport Cooperation to be held during the first half of 2018. Both meetings will allow the identification of new spaces for collaboration in a wide range of disciplines.

For the analyst Fernando Garcia Ramirez, 2018 presents various opportunities of Russian influence in Mexican politics. "I do not know if Mexico is so important for its political agenda, but if it is, of course it will. There will be a direct influence on the population through propaganda, which is the most direct and simple way to influence the people", declared Garcia. For this expert, the alleged intrusion of Russia in the United States’ last presidential election could potentially mean that any nation, no matter how big or small, can be influenced. "Russia is moving the chessboard at will, creating concrete options that will help it gain influence and gain territory where Trump has ceded", affirmed Garcia.

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella 

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

Global
  • 09/25/2017
  • By Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

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