Brazil’s particular position on the Ukrainian War – 04/18/2023 – Latinoamérica21

It is evident that Lula da Silva and Joe Biden face a similar domestic situation, both facing the challenge of powerful right-wing populisms that are, in turn, allies of each other (Trump and Bolsonaro). This requires that they have a special level of collaboration, as manifested in Lula’s visit to Washington last February.

However, in the field of foreign policy, things are different. Lula has his own strategy in terms of security, as well as economic allies, the Bric countries, which in addition to Brazil, India and South Africa, include China and Russia.

Naturally, this circumstance is not new: Brazil and the United States have long played the double game of being allies and competitors on the international stage. But the Ukrainian War powerfully heightened their frequent disagreements. Although it voted in the UN Assembly to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Brazil has given ample evidence of having a perspective different from that of Washington and its European allies on the evolution of the war.

The most striking example took place at the Democracy Summit organized by Biden at the end of March, when Brazil refused to sign the final declaration, which contained a paragraph in which it condemned Russia for committing crimes against humanity. Lula issued a letter explaining that this was not the place to make such declarations, which should be dealt with at the United Nations. The State Department’s efforts failed to change Brazil’s position, although the other Mercosur countries (Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) agreed to sign the declaration.

Another example of Brasilia’s particular diplomatic position was manifested at the UN Security Council, where Brazil occupies a temporary chair, when Russia’s proposal to set up a special commission to investigate the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline was debated, since research carried out by Sweden, Denmark and Germany are not fully reliable. Brazil, together with China, voted in favor of the Russian proposal to create an independent international commission.

In addition, economic relations are tightening within the BRICS. After the renewal of the group’s Development Bank, former president Dilma Rousseff was unanimously elected as president of the new bank.

While Lula’s Presidency promotes direct diplomacy to learn about the possibilities of stopping the war, Lula’s advisor for international affairs, Celso Amorim, visited Moscow and Paris to survey the terrain. On his return to the Planalto Palace, his comments did not reflect much optimism.

Everything indicates that, in addition to Brazil, the Brics countries, with the exception of Russia, have convergent political and economic interests to stop the War in Ukraine as soon as possible. Something that collides with the decision of Moscow and Washington to continue the war until achieving some kind of strategic victory. But the prolongation of the war now has a more profiled standard of measurement. Estimates made by security research centers at the end of the first year of the war point to an unacceptable cost in human lives for the international community.

Conservative calculations speak of 30,000 dead civilians and about 250,000 dead combatants. The escalation of hostilities around the city of Bajmut raises the calculation of the cost in human lives by more than 60,000 combatants in two months, the vast majority of them young people under 30 years old. This atrocity morally demands a response from all actors in the international community.

The conclusion is obvious: if an initiative emerged from within the Brics group, formulated by any country or by several partners, which could stop this massacre, not only would it achieve success for the group in relation to its own interests, but it would also have made an invaluable contribution for all mankind. Everything seems to indicate that Lula’s advisory group knows both sides of the issue.

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