In a speech to the UN Security Council this Thursday, the Brazilian government refrained from condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, suspicions of guilt, and recent threats by Vladimir Putin over the possible use of nuclear weapons.
Speaking with other ministers of the UN main security body, Chancellor Carlos França insisted that Brazil’s aim is to create conditions for dialogue between the conflicting parties.
The meeting took place in one of the most tense moments since the beginning of the conflict, and the Kremlin hinted that it could use all its weapons to defend itself, increase the mobilization to 300,000 people, and even support the annexation of four regions of Ukraine. During the meeting, the Americans, the French and the British did not spare their criticism of Putin.
Brazil, on the other hand, chose not to mention Russia’s name in its speech. “War affects everyone, even in areas far from hostilities. The Security Council is the appropriate place to seek a solution through lasting peace.” At the meeting, attention was drawn to the decision of the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, to leave the room after conveying his message without waiting for speeches from other countries.
But the Brazilian government chose a different tone than that set by Europeans and Americans, condemning the Russian invasion and the Kremlin’s “irresponsible” talk of the eventual use of tactical weapons.
In his speech in New York, the Brazilian foreign minister never mentioned the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and did not touch on Putin’s nuclear threats.
There was no reference to the Russians, even when talking about suspected criminal cases, which were condemned even by UN bodies. According to her, in the past seven months the Council has received reports of human rights violations, including against women, children and the most vulnerable population. But, again, he did not mention the fact that many of these reports openly accuse Russian forces of criminal acts.
France only stated that Brazil “condemned the abuses and advocated an independent investigation of the facts”, thereby ensuring that “those responsible” are brought to justice for their actions. Once again, the Russians are not explicitly mentioned.
The minister this week became Russian Chancellor Sergey Lavrov. Before the Security Council he simply asked “all parties to respect international humanitarian law”.
According to him, this is not the time to deepen divisions. “All of us have an urgent task ahead of us. To bring the parties into dialogue so that a ceasefire can be reached and negotiations for a peace agreement begin as soon as possible,” he argued.
“The ongoing conflict threatens the lives of innocent civilians and affects the food and energy security of millions of families in other regions, particularly in developing countries.”
“The risks of an escalation created by the current dynamics of the conflict are enormous and the consequences for world order are unpredictable,” he warned.
For him, only diplomacy guarantees a viable peace. “This is not the time to stress division or isolate parts,” he argued, echoing the Brazilian government’s mantra of opposing maneuvers by European governments to block Russia from international organisations.
“The priority is to create the conditions for negotiation for a peaceful solution,” he said.