Medvedev (l), Walter, and Mujica (r)

The Secretary-Gernal of ISO, Sergio Mujica, met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2019, according to unearthed media reports from Russia. At that time, Medvedev was largely known as holding the Presidential seat for Vladimir Putin, who had been forced to step down due to Constitutional term limits. Putin has since retaken the position and revised the law to allow himself to serve again.

According to the Russian report, Medvedev thanked Mujica and said he was “pleased to have the opportunity to meet with you and to discuss interaction between our country” and ISO.

Mujica was joined by ISO’s then-President, John Walter, a UK citizen with ties to China.

Walter told Medvedev, “the Secretary-General and I have come here, [and] are striving to build up our ties and at the same time shows that Russia has close ties with the ISO.”

ISO has since gone on to support the Putin regime, and has refused to honor international sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasions of Crimea and Ukraine. Instead, ISO has leaned heavily into Russia, recently allowing an executive of Gazprom to take over a key oil and gas standards committee. Gazprom is under international sanctions for its role in the Ukraine invasion.

At the time of the Medvedev meeting, Russia was already under sanctions for its 2014 invasion of Crimea.

More recently, ISO TC 176 has elected to hold its coming plenary in Rwanda, an African nation that supports Putin and the Russian invasion.

Under Mujica, ISO has openly embraced dictatorial regimes and has relied heavily on suspect data coming from China in order to claim the popularity of its flagship standard, ISO 9001.

Mujica has, himself, adopted an authoritarian style of leadership at ISO, transferring most standards development powers away from Technical Committees, which are comprised of nationally-nominated delegates and subject experts, to the Technical Management Board (TMB), over which he has tighter control.

Under pressure from Mujica and the TMB, ISO ignored an official vote in 2020 not to revise ISO 9001, and instead held five more votes in an attempt to get ISO members to change their position. Finally, after three years of attempts, ISO has announced that a majority of nations now approve of revising ISO 9001. Mujica is demanding that ISO 9001 include language on “climate change,” presumably to help him run for UN Secretary-General in 2026.

While head of Chile’s customs agency, Mujica was investigated for allowing his office to facilitate money laundering and drug trafficking. The probe appears to have been dropped after Mujica left the post.


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