Bolsonaro opts against condemning Putin

putin Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos França and President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Alan Santos/PR
Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos França and President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

The Brazilian government issued a statement on Thursday morning regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine — but unlike diplomats had hoped, President Jair Bolsonaro opted not to call out Moscow just a week after visiting Vladimir Putin. 

“Brazil is monitoring the beginning of military operations by the Russian Federation against targets in Ukraine with great concern,” reads the statement. “Brazil urges the immediate suspension of hostilities and the beginning of negotiations leading to a diplomatic solution based on the Minsk agreements.”

As we informed earlier, diplomats had drafted a statement condemning Russia, but the final decision on the declaration was left up to Mr. Bolsonaro. Foreign diplomats in Brazil were disappointed by the statement, but added that “at least Brazil recognized Russia’s responsibility.”

The Brazilian Embassy in Kyiv only today issued a recommendation for Brazilians in Ukraine to leave the country. Until yesterday, it had advised Brazilian nationals to remain in their homes.

VP compares Putin to Hitler

While the Brazilian government is walking on eggshells, Vice President Hamilton Mourão has not pulled any punches. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, he said economic sanctions will not be enough to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from causing more harm. “There must be the use of force. Support for Ukraine — stronger than it has happened,” he said.

“If the West simply lets Ukraine fall, Moldova will be next, then the Baltic states … just like Hitler’s Germany did in the late 1930s,” he added.

The VP — who is a retired Army general — said he expects a strong stance to come from the United Nations. Otherwise, Mr. Mourão suggested, the multilateral body will lose its usefulness. “The international system can become fractured and we would be back to the time of the cavemen, in which anyone can do as they please.”