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Brazil approves UN resolution condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine

resolution Secretary-General António Guterres (on screen) addresses the UN General Assembly. Photo: Loey Felipe/UN
Secretary-General António Guterres (on screen) addresses the UN General Assembly. Photo: Loey Felipe/UN

The United Nations General Assembly emergency session has adopted a resolution to condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine as the conflict continues for a seventh day. Only Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, and Syria voted against the document — with 35 countries (including China) abstaining.

All but five Latin American countries supported the resolution. Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua have been strong supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin but did not side with Moscow. The former didn’t vote at all, while the latter two joined Bolivia and El Salvador as abstentions. 

While Brazil sided with the overwhelming majority in condemning the invasion, the country’s ambassador to the UN, Ronaldo Costa Filho, expressed “concerns” over the resolution for which he voted. 

“The resolution as adopted does not go far enough in underscoring that the cessation of hostilities is only a first step to achieve peace. Sustainable peace needs additional steps. In this respect, it is regrettable that the supportive role the United Nations can and should play has been left by the wayside in the eagerness to point fingers.”

Mr. Costa Filho also took the stage to criticize Western sanctions directed at throttling the Russian economy and oligarchs. 

“This resolution cannot be seen as permissive towards the indiscriminate application of sanctions and the deployment of arms. These initiatives are not conducive to the proper resumption of constructive diplomatic dialogue and risk further escalating tensions with unpredictable consequences to the region and beyond,” said the diplomat.

President Jair Bolsonaro has said the country will be “neutral” regarding the war in Ukraine, citing its dependence on fertilizer imports from Russia and Belarus — which amounted to over USD 4 billion in 2021. Government officials fear that severe sanctions against Russia will affect Brazil’s imports and exports. As we revealed, Brazilian diplomats sought to negotiate softer vocabulary in the resolution.

Still, even voices from agricultural caucuses in Congress publicly called upon the Foreign Affairs Ministry to condemn Russian actions.