ASUNCIÓN (Reuters) – The presidents of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, members of Mercosur, condemned Russia’s attacks on Ukraine on Friday in a statement that did not include Brazil, whose President Jair Bolsonaro avoided criticizing the Russian invasion.
In a note released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, which holds the presidency of Mercosur this semester, the leaders of the three countries said that Russia’s advance into Ukrainian territory constituted an “open violation of the principles and norms of international law”.
“In this regard… they vehemently call for the suspension of aggression and the immediate withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukrainian territory for the urgent start of diplomatic negotiations leading to a peaceful, acceptable and lasting solution.”
Bolsonaro, who recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, scolded his vice president Hamilton Mourão on Thursday for condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and said it was not his place to talk about the crisis in the east. European.
Mourão had said that, in his opinion, economic sanctions against Russia might not be enough and the West might have to use force. His comments were stronger than the text of a statement from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which he said was following “with grave concern” what it called “the outbreak of military operations” by Russia and called for an immediate halt to hostilities and the start of negotiations.
During his trip to Moscow last week, Bolsonaro even said that Putin’s intention was peace, and that Brazil was “in solidarity with Russia”. The US State Department regretted Bolsonaro’s comments.
Brazil is a founding member of Mercosur, a bloc created in 1991 along with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela was incorporated and then suspended, while Bolivia is in the process of joining.
(Reporting by Daniela Desantis)
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