Brazil on Saturday rejected Washington’s criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro’s recent trip to Russia in the midst of the Ukraine crisis.
Brazil’s Foreign Ministry revealed it “regrets the tone” used by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki last Friday, according to which Bolsonaro’s visit to Moscow alienated Brazil from “the vast majority of the international community.”
Washington tried to dissuade Jair Bolsonaro from visiting Russia in the current context of the crisis between Moscow and the West over Ukraine, but the Brazilian president kept the visit. Last Wednesday, after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Jair Bolsonaro expressed his “solidarity” with Russia.
The next day, the US State Department issued an unusual criticism of Brazil, which is usually considered an ally of Washington.
“The timing of the Brazilian president’s expression of solidarity with Russia, as Russian forces prepare to launch attacks on Ukrainian cities, could not have been worse,” the foreign ministry said.
“The vast majority of the international community shares the same view, which is the view that invading another country, trying to seize part of its territory, and terrorizing its people, is certainly not in line with universal values,” the House spokeswoman agreed. Branca last Friday, when asked at a press conference about Bolsonaro’s expression of “solidarity” with Russia.
“That’s why I think Brazil might be at odds with the majority of the international community,” Psaki said.
The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded today that Brazil “does not consider such extrapolations of the President’s comments to be constructive or useful.”
Bolsonaro is an outspoken admirer of former US President Donald Trump, and relations with Washington have been strained since Democrat Joe Biden took office and criticized Brazil for its performance in deforestation in the Amazon.
The Brazilian president has also never hidden his admiration for Vladimir Putin, whom he considers a “strong man”.
Brazil recommends citizens to leave separatist areas
The Brazilian Embassy in Ukraine today advised Brazilian citizens to abandon “without delay” the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, given the “context of increasing ceasefire violations” in the country.
In a Facebook message, the Brazilian Embassy in Kiev advised Brazilian citizens to redouble their attention and avoid the “Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk.” To those already in these areas, he appeals to leave “without delay”.
The embassy warned that “Brazilian citizens in Ukraine should be aware of the possibility of canceling or delaying more international flights next week,” noting that Germany’s Lufthansa has already announced the temporary suspension of flights from Kiev and Odessa, starting on Monday.
The embassy’s appeal comes on the week that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro made an official visit to Russia, acknowledging that the trip has caused diplomatic alarm in other countries, given the tense atmosphere around Ukraine.
“Brazil is a sovereign country, but we have information that some countries wanted the meeting not to take place and that something could happen with our presence here, but from my reading of Vladimir Putin, he is someone who also seeks peace,” Bolsonaro said.
About 40 countries have already recommended their citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible. The list includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Iraq, Kuwait, Italy and Portugal.
The calls come on the heels of the US announcement that Russia can invade Ukraine “at any time” in the coming days.
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