Russian-Ukrainian War Will Impact Mexico/INE Is CriticizedBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 02/24/2022 - 13:01
AMLO is against the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured that Mexico is not in favor of any war, but of peace and diplomatic resolution of conflicts. “We are going to continue promoting dialogue so force is not used and the country is not invaded because we are not in favor of any war. Mexico is a country that has always been in favor of peace and the peaceful solution of disputes. It is in our foreign policy principles.”
Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been on the rise for months despite diplomatic attempts to improve the countries' situation. Russian attacks began after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the Luhansk and Donetsk territories as independent. Putin said that the launch of a special military operation was to protect people, especially Russians, who are being killed in Ukraine. Furthermore, Putin argued that Ukraine's NATO membership was unacceptable as it was a move against Moscow. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has declared martial law and called on world leaders to impose sanctions on Russia. Western countries have said that the Russians' arguments for invading are bad propaganda to legitimize their position and that they will continue to support Ukraine.
Fuel prices will increase due to Ukraine invasion. López Obrador said that the country has been preparing for a long time for a possible increase in fuel prices due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. López Obrador assured that if gas prices increase, all hydroelectric plants will work at full capacity to avoid blackouts throughout the country. “We are prepared for the economic effects. There is a plan to produce electricity with water so there is no lack of electricity or a price increase. We also expect to maintain the price of gasoline as agreed and to not raise it above inflation.”
Experts say that the price of gasoline and gas will be affected by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Brent oil is trading above US$90 a barrel, which represents a 36 percent increase since December. The increase in hydrocarbon prices is expected to go above global inflation and interest rates. For Mexico, this would lead to a price increase in imports from the US. In 2021, the country imported an average of 460Mb/d. In addition, Mexico would be affected by the recession in Europe since it represents a fifth of the world GDP.
AMLO complains about INE’s organization for the revocation of mandate referendum. Although it is currently forbidden to talk about electoral issues during morning conferences, López Obrador complained about INE’s organization for the revocation of mandate referendum, since it will use the same polling stations as in the 2021 elections. “I do not care if they fine me for talking about it. INE does not want to put new stations for the revocation of mandate referendum. They are going to use the ones from the last election. They have the money but they do not use it for democratic purposes. People at INE must become authentic judges and comply with democracy, above political and private interests.”
INE announced that 57,377 polling stations will be installed for the revocation of mandate referendum, which represents a third of what is required by law. INE’s General Council announced that these modifications were made after the Chamber of Deputies reduced INE’s budget for 2022 and the Ministry of Finance refused to provide more financial resources. The government has said that INE has the necessary resources to carry out all its activities in 2022 but that the institute is corrupt and wastes money. Meanwhile, INE has assured that it does not have the necessary budget to carry out the referendum. However, it assured that despite having fewer polling stations, citizens will be guaranteed to vote.
The Army will be in charge of another infrastructure project. López Obrador announced that the Army will be in charge of the construction of the Sonora port that will connect Nogales with Guaymas. López Obrador said that this decision must still be approved by the US authorities. However, he is optimistic. “We are going to recover all that land with the purpose of organizing Nogales with spaces for fun and sports. We are going to integrate all this area for urban development. We are already seeing the new layout and talking with the associated railway companies, which are Grupo México and the American company that is its partner.”
Last week, López Obrador met with Sonora Governor Alfonso Durazo and US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar to discuss the Sonora rail bypass project, which seeks to benefit residents, and relocate customs. The customs issue is expected to be discussed with high-ranking US officials in the coming weeks.
During the López Obrador administration, the Army has been cataloged as the great constructor of the country since it is in charge of emblematic works such as the General Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) and the Mayan Train. Although the government says it has chosen the Army as it is reliable and a cheap option, many say the army should not meddle in non-security issues.