Eurasian-Latin Relations Rising: Putin to Meet New Mexican Socialist President

MOSCOW, Russia – Presidents of Mexico and Russia, Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Vladimir Putin, have already demonstrated their mutual interest in holding presidential visits, according to the Mexican ambassador in Moscow, Norma Pensado.

“There is undoubtedly an open invitation to President López Obrador, there is an open invitation for President Putin to go to Mexico. There is interest and a desire on both sides to move forward and, of course, some time, a visit of the highest level,” she said.

Thought she pointed out that the last presidential visit between the two countries occurred more than 13 years ago when then-Mexican leader Vicente Fox met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

“I cannot say a date or promise anything at the moment,” said the ambassador, stressing that both the Mexican Embassy in Russia and the Russian Embassy in Mexico are ready to work on that.

López Obrador, of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), assumed the presidency of Mexico on December 1, 2018, succeeding Enrique Peña Nieto, Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

“Our bilateral ties are strong, and there is no doubt that this does not depend on [changes of] governments,” Pensado said.

She specified that Mexico was currently focused on diversifying its international ties.

“I see that we’ll pursue the policy of re-activating and consolidating our relations,” Pensado added.

The tourist flow coming from Russia has grown by almost 60 percent year-on-year in Mexico, reaching 58,000 visitors in 2018, she said.

“This is mostly beach tourism, and this [inflow increase] is related to charters to Cancun,” Pensado explained.

She also said that around 45,000 Mexicans have visited Russia during the FIFA World Cup, which was held in the country in summer 2018.

“I can say for sure that they have all fallen in love with Russia,” the ambassador said.

According to Pensado, a record-high number of over 100,000 Russians have visited Mexico in 2013, but then the tourist flow has been decreasing for several years due to economic stagnation before starting to grow again in 2016. She expressed hope for further growth of the tourist flow.

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