Leftist governments in Latin America won’t condemn Russia over Ukraine war

Latin American leaders refused to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Monday during the European Union summit in Brussels, which is being held to reconcile the relationship between the EU and Latin American countries.

The 27 leaders of the European Union hoped to have had the 33 heads of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) sign off on a statement denouncing "Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine" but changed course when they insisted on remaining neutral, The Times reports.



President Lula da Silva of Brazil, a leftist that recently defeated former President Jair Bolsonaro, asserted that the invasion of Ukraine is nothing more than a distraction that is negatively impacting the rest of the world.

"The war in the heart of Europe has launched uncertainties in the world," da Silva said. "It channels for war purposes resources that were essential for the economy and for social programs. The arms race makes it even more difficult to confront the climate change issue."

Diplomats from the region called the EU's demand "unrealistic" and explained that their countries and states are remaining neutral on the conflict given that both Brazil and the Celac bloc have no shared view on Ukraine, according to the outlet.

In fact, members of the Celac bloc, which includes Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, have taken Russian President Vladimir Putin's side in the war, and President da Silva of Brazil partially blamed the US and NATO for the war.

The Brazillian President said that he was open to the idea of acting as a potential broker with President Putin.

President of the European Council Charles Michel opened the conference by encouraging leaders to condemn Russia's "illegal" invasion of Ukraine, but failed to achieve the outcome he had been hoping for.

"Every country on this planet must be safe. And that's why Russia must not be allowed to succeed," Michel said, adding that the invasion has resulted in "devastating consequences for food security, energy prices and the global economy."
 

The EU is eager to rekindle relations with Latin America and the Caribbean eight years after the last Celac meeting in Brussels, but new tensions have emerged, delaying the opening of a free-trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur bloc of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay that was informally reached in 2019.

The EU's demands for greater environmental protections, supported by France and other food-exporting nations, have slowed down the agreement, infuriating Brazil in particular.


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