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Faced with Russia and the US, Brazil’s chancellor condemns abuses ‘by all parties’ in Ukraine


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A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons against the West, Brazilian Chancellor Carlos França once again defended Brazil’s position of neutrality in the Ukrainian War, calling for respect for international law “by all parties”. of the conflict.

France spoke to the UN Security Council this Thursday (22), at a meeting convened during the organization’s General Assembly to discuss the War in Ukraine. The meeting put Russia’s Chancellors, Sergei Lavrov, face to face; from the United States, Antony Blinken; and from China, Wang Yi, in addition to those responsible for foreign affairs from all the countries that sit on the body. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitri Kuleba also attended the meeting.

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Carlos França repeated the usual calls for a ceasefire and a peace agreement, but he did not refer directly to Russia once in his brief speech, lasting less than two minutes.

“During these seven months [desde o começo da guerra], this council has received numerous reports of serious human rights violations in conflict zones, including against vulnerable groups of women and children,” he said. “Brazil condemns the abuses and advocates an impartial investigation of the facts, so that those responsible are held accountable for your actions. We also reiterate our call for full respect for international humanitarian law by all parties.”

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The position is ambiguous because, although there are a number of records of violations committed by Russian troops, Moscow accuses Ukrainian forces of disrespecting human rights, especially in regions close to the Russian-majority border, such as the Donbass.

Just as President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) did in a speech at the General Assembly on Tuesday (20), France criticized the sanctions on Russia and said that “this is not the time to accentuate views or isolate the parties [envolvidas].”

For the chancellor, “the risks of escalation by the dynamics of the conflict are simply too high, and the consequences for the world order, unpredictable.”

On Wednesday (21), Putin went on TV to say that Russia “also has various means of destruction” and that he would “use all available means” to protect the country. “This is not a bluff,” he pointed out.

The speech set the tone for Thursday’s Security Council meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres said that “the idea of ​​a nuclear conflict, previously unthinkable, has become a subject of debate” and that this is “totally unacceptable”.

In a speech much harsher than that of the Brazilian chancellor, Guterres stated that it is necessary to investigate “a catalog of cruelties” committed in the conflict, which would include summary executions, sexual violence and torture against civilians and prisoners of war.

The Portuguese also criticized the referendum plans in Russian-occupied regions and said that “any annexation of a territory of one State by another State as a result of threat or use of force is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law.”

Russia is one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, which has veto power over UN Security Council votes, along with the United States, France, China and the United Kingdom. Brazil occupies one of the ten temporary seats, which are rotating, and votes on the body’s deliberations, but without veto power.

Sergei Lavrov, however, did not hear Guterres’ critical speech or that of other foreign ministers because he entered the meeting hall only at the moment of his speech – before, another representative from Moscow was at the table. Antony Blinken, on the other hand, remained in the room to listen to the Russian.

To the council, Lavrov defended the invasion of Ukraine and repeated arguments that Moscow is reinstating disrespected rights in the Russian-majority regions. He said again that the Ukrainian government is taken over by neo-Nazis, who took power after what he called a 2014 coup d’état with Western support, when a pro-Moscow president was overthrown after intense popular mobilization.

Lavrov, who was Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations and, sanctioned, received a visa to travel to the United States for this year’s last-minute General Assembly, criticized the West’s shipment of weapons to Ukraine and said Kiev’s supporters also are parties to the conflict. “The United States and its allies, with the collusion of international human rights organizations, are covering up the crimes of the Kiev regime,” he said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the US stance and criticized Wednesday’s Russian nuclear threat. “That President Putin has chosen this week, when most global leaders are gathered at the UN, to add fuel to the fire demonstrates his utter contempt for the Charter of the United Nations,” he said.

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