Finland’s president says Russia’s war in Ukraine ‘exacerbates’ pre-existing international problems

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro addresses the United Nations General Assembly. (Brian McDermid/Reuters)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday called for diplomacy as the best way to end the conflict in Ukraine.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Bolsonaro said the first step towards lasting peace should be “an immediate ceasefire, the protection of civilians and non-combatants and the preservation essential infrastructure to help the population”.

Bolsonaro said Brazil does not see sanctions on Russia as a viable way to end the seven-month-old conflict that began following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We don’t think the best way is to adopt unilateral and selective sanctions that are not in line with international law,” Bolsonaro said. These measures have undermined economic recovery and threatened the human rights of vulnerable populations, including in European countries.

“The solution to the conflict in Ukraine will only be achieved through negotiation and dialogue,” he said.

A bit of context: In April, Reuters reported that Russia had asked Brazil for support from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Group of 20 major economies in the face of sanctions.

Bolsonaro, who has maintained Brazil’s neutrality in the Ukraine crisis, expressed “solidarity” during his visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 16, a week before the start of the invasion. Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said earlier that Brazil opposes Russia’s expulsion from the Group of Twenty.