Brazil puts five-year seal on data about Bolsonaro’s Russia trip

five-year Bolsonaro Russia trip
Jair Bolsonaro before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Moscow. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

The Jair Bolsonaro administration imposed a five-year seal on documents concerning the president’s official visit to Russia in February, just days before Moscow invaded Ukraine. Requested via Brazil’s Freedom of Information Law, the files will only be available in February 2027.

Analyzing a request made by the left-wing Socialism and Freedom Party (Psol), the Foreign Affairs Ministry refused to hand over any cables or executive summaries of conversations held by the president or his cabinet ministers during the three-day trip to Moscow. The department claimed releasing the files could harm ongoing negotiations or expose information received by other countries.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry also refused to disclose who accompanied Jair Bolsonaro on the trip, or explain why Carlos Bolsonaro, the president’s son, was in Russia at the time.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s team has been playing hardball with freedom of information requests since coming into office. Last week, the president’s office put a 100-year seal on information regarding meetings of two evangelical pastors with Mr. Bolsonaro — the pair are accused of being involved in a corruption scandal within the Education Ministry, and they met the president a total of 35 times.