Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has threatened an “apocalypse” and a “right to war” against all the nations who oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Medvedev was greeted warmly by ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica in 2019, which then led to Mujica’s tacit support of Russia’s invasions of Ukraine and Crimea.

Left to right: Dmitry Medvedev, then ISO President John Walter, Sergio Mujica. (2019)

The bombastic statements were made by Medvedev on social media on August 29, and included militaristic threats against NATO and other countries. In his post, he quoted from the Biblical book of Revelations, and quoted former USSR leader Nikita Kruschev.

For a brief period, Medvedev acted as Russian President, taking the place of Vladimir Putin who was restricted from holding the office due to term limits. It was widely understood that Medvedev was Putin’s “puppet,” and he then yielded the office to Putin after one term. Putin then changed the constitution to allow himself to remain in power.

In 2019, Mujica met with Medvedev, who was acting as Russian President at the time, and declared a close friendship with the nation. 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.

Under Sergio Mujica, ISO has ignored EU and Swiss laws that impose sanctions against Russia, using a dubious argument that ISO is a neutral “non-governmental organization” (NGO) similar to the United Nations. In fact, ISO is a commercial, albeit non-profit, publishing company, with the bulk of its revenue coming from the sale and licensing of books. ISO is under investigation as to whether its revenue stream makes its claims of NGO status under Swiss law illegal, but the Swiss government has not shown an interest in taking action against ISO.

Mujica has tilted ISO towards authoritarian dictatorships, allowing China to pollute annual ISO Survey data with figures that most understand as being inflated, if not entirely fraudulent. Instead of investigating, Mujica and ISO point to the suspect China figures as evidence of ISO 9001’s popularity

Two weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mujica personally congratulated Russia and Belarus, in what was seen as an ill-timed, “tone-deaf” response. Mujica never apologized and has refused to make any statements against Russia.

Mujica revised to eject Russia from ISO standards committees in line with EU sanctions and Swiss law. Instead, a prominent executive from the Russian state-run firm Gazprom was given the leadership of an ISO standards committee related to arctic oil and gas operations. Gazprom is under specific sanctions for its role in the Ukraine invasion.

Sources report that Mujica believes he has a chance to become UN Secretary-General, and his outreach to China and Russia may be an attempt to win two votes from key UN Security Council members. Mujuica has been publicly critical of the United States, however, which will not help his campaign.

Prior to taking on the ISO Secretary-General role, Mujica was head of Chile’s customs ministry. While heading that department, he was investigated for allowing his agency to be used for criminal drug trafficking and money laundering. It is not clear what happened to the probe, but it appears to have been dropped when Mujica resigned from office and took on the ISO role.

Mujica has ignored the World Trade Organization’s regulations on “Technical Barriers to Trade,” which aim to prohibit ISO standards from replacing regulations and laws developed by democratically elected governments. Instead, ISO is pushing to have its standards adopted by nations as de facto laws, thus taking over the role of governments. Many nations, including the US, have supported the move, claiming that the “privatization” of standards development reduces taxes.


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