To “avoid polarization,” Brazil abstains from suspending Russia at the UN

un russia Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock

The UN General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution to suspend Russia from its Human Rights Council in a 93-24 vote. A total of 58 countries abstained – including Brazil. The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Brazil believes that the move would lead to the “polarization and politicization of debates within the Human Rights Council.”

Brazil has avoided taking a firm stance on Russia for multiple reasons. 

One of them is the country’s tradition of neutrality. In 2014, the country – alongside other Latin American nations – did not condemn Russia for invading Crimea and, as now, urged all parties to negotiate a peaceful resolution. Another is Brazil’s sheer dependence on Russian fertilizers. The country imports 84 percent of its supply, one quarter coming from Russia.

The fact that Presidents Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Vladimir Putin of Russia get along on a personal level also holds the Brazilian leader back from castigating Russia.

None of the BRICS nations supported the UN resolution. China opposed it (as did Russia obviously), while India and South Africa also abstained.