Jair Bolsonaro Affirms Brazilian Neutrality over Russia’s Conflict with Ukraine

On February 27, 2022, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro refused to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for the military operations it has conducted against Ukraine. 

The Brazilian government’s official stance has been one of neutrality during this conflict. Bolsonaro shook things up the week prior by visiting Putin in Moscow to express his solidarity with the Eurasian country.

On February 25, Brazil voted in favor of a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that would have condemned Russian military operations in Ukraine. Bolsonaro was initially reluctant to denounce Russia’s actions against Ukraine. Russia ended up vetoing the resolution. 

During a press conference, Bolsonaro recounted that he had a two-hour conversation with Putin. Brazil’s foreign ministry clarified that Bolsonaro did not speak with Putin on February 27, and instead referred to Bolsonaro’s conversation with Putin in Moscow.

During the press conference on February 27, Bolsonaro stated that Brazil will maintain neutrality in the conflict.  He called attention to the fact that Russia and Ukraine were “practically brother nations.”

“We will not take sides, we will continue being neutral, and help with whatever is possible,” Bolsonaro stated. “A big part of Ukraine’s population speaks Russian.” 

When he was asked by a reporter if he was willing to criticize Putin’s actions, Putin stated he would wait for a final report to be released, or the military situation to be resolved, before making any formal opinion.

Bolsonaro stressed his refusal to sanction Russia because of the negative repercussions his country could face for doing so. He mentioned Russian fertilizers as a key component of Brazil’s agribusiness sector. 

The Brazilian president believes that Russian forces would not be carrying out an indiscriminate massacre in Ukraine. “A chief of state like that of Russia does not want to undertake a massacre, anywhere,” he stated. The Brazilian leader added that in two southern regions of Ukraine, roughly 90% of the population desired to “approximate themselves to Russia.”

When it came to his assessment of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Bolsonaro declared that Ukrainians have “placed the hope of their nation in the hands of a comedian.”

On February 26, Bolsonaro tweeted that his government would not stop its efforts to evacuate Brazilians from Ukraine.

“I ask all Brazilians in contested territory to stay firm, follow instructions and report any incidents to us. I know about the difficulties, but we won’t spare any efforts to solve them,” Bolsonaro declared on Twitter.

Bolsonaro understands the multipolar world we’re entering. So he’s playing all the options he has. The US is a country, while immensely robust in economic and military terms, that’s becoming increasingly unstable on the domestic front — thanks to its embrace of wokism, soft-on-crime policies, and nation-destroying mass migration. 

This cultural rot could potentially bleed into the country’s ability to maintain its superpower status on the international stage. Leaders like Bolsonaro are wise to diversify their economic and geopolitical portfolio in these trying times.  

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