In 1806, Russia, under Emperor Alexander I; began an ambitious plan to colonize Alaska and California (then under control of the Spanish empire). In 1806, Russian explorer Nikolai Rezanov arrived to California in order to partake in the fur trade and secure food production for Russian colonies. In 1812, Fort Ross was established in present-day northern California.
Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Russia were formally established on 1 December 1890 in Mexico City by Baron Roman Rosen under the authorization of Emperor Alexander III of Russia. In 1891, the first Russian legation was opened in the Mexican capital. During respective revolutions; 1910-1920 in Mexico and 1917 in Russia; diplomatic relations between the two countries were practically non-existent.
In 1922, Russia became known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), In August 1924 Mexico became the first country in the American continent to establish relations with the USSR. In 1926, the USSR appointed Alexandra Kollontai (the first female ambassador in the world) as ambassador to Mexico.
On 26 January 1930, diplomatic relations between the two nations were severed due to 'ideological differences'. In 1936 former Soviet politician Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia Sedova, moved to Mexico from Norway during their exile. Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas welcomed him warmly, even arranging for a special train to bring him to Mexico City from the port of Tampico. In Mexico, Trotsky at one point lived at the home of painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. In August 1940, Trotsky was assassinated at his home by NKVD agent Ramón Mercader.
In May 1942, Mexico entered World War II by declaring war on the axis powers and thus becoming an ally of the USSR. Diplomatic relations between the two nations were re-established in November 1942. In 1973, President Luis Echeverría became the first Mexican and Latin-American head of state to visit the Soviet Union. In 1978, during an official visit by Mexican President José López Portillo to the Soviet Union, Mexico (on behalf of Latin-America) and the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Tlatelolco which prohibits "testing, use, manufacture, production or acquisition by any means whatsoever of any nuclear weapons" in Latin-America and the Caribbean.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991; Mexico continued to maintain diplomatic relations with the newly created Russian Federation as the successor of the USSR. Since then, bilateral relations between the two nations have steadily increased. In August 2014, both nations celebrated 90 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the USSR. In 2001 and 2013, Russia launched into space Mexican communication satellites from the town of Baikonur, Kazakhstan (the town is administered by Russia for space launch programs). In 2014, approximately 77,000 Russian citizens visited Mexico for tourism and there are direct flights between Mexico City and Cancun to Moscow.
- President Luis Echeverría (1973)
- President José López Portillo (1978)
- President Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1991)
- President Vicente Fox (2005)
- President Felipe Calderón (2012)
- President Enrique Peña Nieto (2013)
Presidential visits from Russia to Mexico
- President Vladimir Putin (2004, 2012)
Mexico has purchased various military equipment. The Mexican Navy has received BTR-60's Ural-4320, Mi-17/8's and 9K38 Igla anti-aircraft missiles. Currently all of the equipment is still in service.
In 2014, two-way trade between both nations totaled $1,784 billion USD. Mexico's main exports to Russia include: tequila, beer, beef and automobiles. Russian exports to Mexico include: chemical based products, metals, helicopters and ammunition. Mexico is Russia's third biggest trading partner in Latin America. Russian multinational companies such as Power Machines operate in Mexico and Mexican multinational companies such as Grupo Omnilife, Grupo Maseca, Nemak, Cemex, Mabe, Katcon, Metalsa and Gruma operate in Russia.
Resident diplomatic missions
- History of bilateral relations between Russia and Mexico (in Spanish)
- Diplomatic relations between Mexico and Russia (in Spanish)
- The Guardian: Trotsky's murder remembered by grandson, 72 years on
- Rusia y México: consolidar 90 años de relación a golpe de industria (in Spanish)
- Interés nacional y equilibrio de poder en las relaciones entre Rusia y México de 1890 a 2010 (in Spanish)
- Mexican Ministry of Economy: Trade between Russia and Mexico (in Spanish)
- Embassy of Mexico in Moscow (in Russian and Spanish)
- Embassy of Russia in Mexico City (in Russian and Spanish)