MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president on Friday said he had no information about comments from a U.S. general that Russian intelligence agents are based in Mexico, and reiterated Mexico’s non-interventionist stance.
“We don’t have information on this,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference when asked about the general’s remarks, adding that the government would not impede any foreigner from carrying out legal activities.
“Mexico is a free, independent, sovereign country … We’re not going to Moscow to spy on anybody, nor to Beijing… nor to Washington,” he said.
U.S. Air Force General Glen VanHerck told a Senate hearing on Thursday that Russia’s military intelligence service has its “largest portion” of members in Mexico. He added they “keep an eye very closely on their opportunities to have influence on U.S. opportunities and access.”
Russia’s embassy in Mexico did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Lopez Obrador has sought to remain neutral in the Ukraine conflict, even as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, has urged Mexican lawmakers to join the United States in supporting Kyiv against Russia’s invasion.
Russia’s ambassador to Mexico, Viktor Koronelli, addressed lawmakers at a newly inaugurated “Mexico-Russia friendship committee” this week, encouraging Mexico to defy “Uncle Sam.”
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Raul Cortes; Editing by Alistair Bell)