Opinion

For Bolsonaro, Putin’s support is better than no support

Bolsonaro has yet to condemn Putin for invading Ukraine. For the Brazilian leader, there's no such thing as unwelcome support

bolsonaro putin
Presidents Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Vladimir Putin of Russia. Photo: Kremlin official via the Brazilian president’s office

One week before the invasion of Ukraine, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro paid a visit to Vladimir Putin. The alleged purpose of the meeting was to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the countries, focusing particularly on the purchase of Russian fertilizers.

Analysts were appalled by the terrible timing of the trip and by Mr. Bolsonaro’s absolute lack of discernment.

It was indeed a diplomatic nightmare. “We are in solidarity with Russia,” Mr. Bolsonaro declared, rather robotically, sitting knee to knee with the man who had been threatening to invade a neighboring nation. “We very much want to collaborate in many...

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