MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday he met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss a Mexican peace plan for the Ukraine conflict that he presented to the U.N. General Assembly this week.
Mexico has proposed a deal to halt the fighting but Ukraine opposes the plan which it says would be advantageous to Russia.
Ebrard wrote on Twitter that he and Lavrov had a “cordial conversation,” and posted a picture of himself and Lavrov sitting across from each other at a table, a day after the Mexican minister held a separate conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart.
Mexico’s government has set out a plan that includes creating a “mediation committee” to settle conflicts worldwide, spearheaded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the committee would immediately start talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to achieve “a truce of at least five years.”
Still, Lopez Obrador, who has condemned Russia’s invasion and criticized Western arms shipments to Ukraine, suggested he was not seeking to discuss the plan personally with Putin when asked earlier this week if the two leaders would speak.
“I don’t want to play a leading role, as a government we’re making a proposal to see if it’s accepted,” he said.
Mexico’s proposal has drawn criticism from Ukraine, with an adviser to Zelenskiy, Mykhailo Podolyak, last week calling it a “Russian plan” that would “give Russia time to renew reserves before the next offensive.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to Mexico also rejected the idea, telling reporters that “we have to continue the fight to liberate our territory.”
It is unclear whether the proposed members of Mexico’s mediation committee have agreed to take part.
The conflict has displaced millions, killed thousands of civilians and left cities, towns and villages in ruins.
(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom, Edited by Isabel Woodford and Alistair Bell)