In the opening words of his private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Jair Bolsonaro said that “we are in solidarity with Russia”.
He did not say sympathetically for what, but his host is at the center of one of the biggest security crises in the world since the end of the Cold War, the tension with Ukraine and the West, which accuses Moscow of threatening to invade the neighboring country. .
The televised words were, as usual, economical through and through. The Russian said he expected a “productive meeting”, while the Brazilian listed the areas of cooperation in negotiations at the meetings parallel to the meeting: defense, energy and agriculture.
“We want to collaborate in many areas,” said Bolsonaro, who thanked Putin for granting a pardon last year to a Brazilian driver who was imprisoned in Russia accused of entering the country with an illegal substance.
Putin’s demonstration of “solidarity” will be read as support in Western diplomatic circles, despite the Itamaraty maintaining that Brazil will maintain its line of independence and defend peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.
This tradition had been broken in the first two years of the Bolsonaro government, with the aggressive management of the exponent of the ideological wing of Bolsonarism Ernesto Araújo. He advocated a carnal alliance with the US against what he called globalism, fell in March 2021 and is now licensed from diplomacy.
Before Bolsonaro’s trip, the US made efforts to first prevent the visit and, later, for him to take harsh words to Putin about the handling of the crisis – which, of course, will not happen.
Today Brazil has the status of a preferred non-NATO ally of the US, a condition that gives it access to privileged partnerships with the US defense market. Both countries signed an unprecedented military agreement in 2020, but so far it has not borne fruit.
In a meeting prior to the leaders’ meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized the United States and NATO (Western military alliance) in the crisis. He had met with his Brazilian counterpart, Carlos França, and Defense Ministers Serguei Choigu and Walter Braga Netto.