September 12, 2018 / 4:31 AM / a month ago

Russia's Putin to plan meeting with Mexico's president-elect: Tass

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking into a possible meeting with Mexican President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador late this year in Mexico or Argentina, Russian news agency Tass reported on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador smiles as he speaks to the media during a news conference in Mexico City Mexico, August 31, 2018. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, invited Putin to his inauguration in a meeting on Monday with Russia’s ambassador to Mexico.

Putin met former President Vicente Fox in Mexico in 2004 and returned to attend the 2012 G20 Summit, which brings together the world’s 20 largest economies.

The Russian leader is expected to attend this year’s G20 summit from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 in Argentina, suggesting a scheduling conflict with Lopez Obrador’s inauguration.

“Argentina is not far away, so there are several options we could look into: a flight to Mexico or a meeting in Argentina,” Tass reported Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov as saying in Vladivostok.

Mexico’s foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, met with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow last November amid efforts to find alternative markets to the United States during a contentious process to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In Lopez Obrador’s meeting with Russian ambassador Viktor Koronelli on Monday, according to a statement from the president-elect’s office, the two discussed the growing numbers of Russian tourists in Mexico, eliminating a visa for Mexican tourists in Russia and Russia’s forthcoming investments in Mexico’s auto sector.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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