Brazilian media Thursday highlighted the fact that President Jair Bolsonaro made no comments regarding the Ukrainian crisis during two public appearances, although his Government did express its “concern” through the Foreign Ministry.
On the other hand, Vice President, Hamilton Mourão -a retired Army General- was in favor of supporting Kyiv and stressed Brazil was not neutral in the conflict.
The Brazilian government accompanies with serious concern the beginning of the military operations of the Russian Federation against Ukrainian targets, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Brazil calls for the immediate suspension of hostilities and the start of negotiations leading to a diplomatic solution, based on the Minsk agreements, the Itamaraty Palace document went on. The negotiated solution must take into account the legitimate security interests of all parties and the protection of civil society, it added.
Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto França reportedly summoned his staff to an emergency meeting to assess the crisis as information from the diplomatic missions in Kyiv, Moscow and New York came in.
Brazil's ambassador to the UN, Ronaldo Costa Filho, holds the Security Council's rotating chair since January.
The South American country promotes multilateral discussions with a view to a peaceful solution in line with the Brazilian diplomatic tradition in defense of solutions guided by the UN Charter and above all in principles such as the non-intervention, sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement also pointed out.
During an early morning encounter with a group of supporters at his Brasilia residence, Bolsonaro criticized the Landless Rural Workers Movement and spoke about the Palmeiras club, of which he is a supporter. The President was also critical of the Argentine government after one of the attendees claimed to be from that neighboring country. But no reference to Ukraine.
Shortly after 9 am local time, the President took part in an engagement at Ribeirão Preto, in the State of São Paulo, and he was once again mum about the crisis that has removed COVID-19 from the globe's headlines. There were reporters covering the event.
Bolsonaro, a retired Army captain, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. During his trip to Moscow, Bolsonaro expressed his solidarity with Russia, a statement which has drawn criticism from the United States. The Brazilian leader also praised Putin for his conservative values.
If the Western world lets Ukraine fall, then the Baltic states will come, just as it happened with Nazi Germany, before the start of World War II, Mourão warned. The western world is like in 1938 with Hitler, appeasing him [Putin], Mourão went on. Economic sanctions don't work,” he added.