The Role of Brazil in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict: A Potential Peace Enabler?

This Argument appears in Vol. 75, No. 2, "War in Ukraine: The World Responds" (Spring/Summer 2023).

By Danilo Marcondes and Antonio Ruy de Almeida Silva

The February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine has generated significant repercussions throughout the world, well beyond Eastern Europe. The reactions to the Russian actions have been varied, and the economic and social consequences of the conflict have had a specific impact in countries of the Global South. In addition, the global nature of the conflict has meant that countries have been pressured either by Russia or by Ukraine to take sides. In this article, we look at the Brazilian responses to the conflict. In addition to Brazil’s relevance as an emerging power, and its participation as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2022-2023 period, the timing of the conflict and its repercussions take place in a moment of significant domestic political transition in Brazil, which provides additional nuance to the ways in which Brazilian actors have responded, including by indicating a willingness to serve as a peace-broker.

Keywords: Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, geopolitics, Latin America


What Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation” of short duration has turned into a war with thousands of dead and wounded, an intense refugee crisis and population displacement, and an immense financial and material cost for both countries. At the regional and global levels, according to the World Bank, the war also contributed to an energy and food crisis, increasing inflation, and a slowing down of the world economy, with important consequences for the year 2023.[1]

If the results are so disastrous, why is the war not replaced by negotiations that try to build a lasting peace? Wars usually start with the illusion that they will be quick and won at low financial, material, and human costs. This illusion contributes to making them easier to start than to end. Often, the human sacrifices and material losses consumed in the conflict make the possibility of a political solution more difficult if the intended objectives were not achieved if one of the opponents gained some advantage. The disadvantaged side may consider pursuing peace as a sign of weakness. Therefore, it will be able to continue fighting in the hope that by providing more human and material resources to the conflict, it will be able to alter the course of the war to its advantage, even if this means the possibility of making its situation even worse. This dynamic can be called the “war trap.”[2]

The war between Russia and Ukraine is an example of a war trap. The two countries are involved in a process of political-diplomatic paralysis. Although the war is expected to end in the future, nobody knows when and how that future will arrive. Nevertheless, Brazil, a member of BRICS, is one of the countries defending a diplomatic solution to the conflict. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in office since January 2023, has been advocating that it is necessary to put together a group of countries to bring Russia and Ukraine to the negotiation table. The purpose of this article is to analyze Brazil’s diplomatic position regarding the conflict, including its offer of serving as a peace broker.

Brazil’s offer to play a potential mediating role can be understood as part of a government initiative of relaunching Brazil’s foreign policy after four years of the Jair Bolsonaro administration (2019-2022). Promoting Brazil’s mediation credentials is part of the “Brazil is back” strategy that has been put forward by current President Lula da Silva.[i]

The article is divided in the following sections: the first section provides a brief discussion of Brazilian relations with both Russia and Ukraine up to the events of February 2022. The second section discusses Brazilian perceptions of the February 2022 invasion. The next section addresses Brazil’s role in different international organizations dealing with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, followed by a section discussing President Lula’s proposal for a peace club to help solve the conflict. We conclude by claiming that the Brazilian initiative is part of the “Brazil is back” narrative. Nevertheless, this task will face challenging difficulties, especially because Brazil will be trying to mediate a war in which great power interests are at stake.

Brazil's Relations with Russia and Ukraine

Brazilian mediation credentials derive from it being one of the few countries with diplomatic relations with all UN member states. In addition, Brazil has historically played an active role in different coalitions, such as the G-77 and the G-20, has spent the most time as an elected member in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and has long valued multilateralism as part of its foreign policy strategy.[3] The Brazilian Constitution establishes that Brazil will act in its international relations by adopting principles such as national independence and self-determination of peoples, non-intervention, equality among states, and the adoption of peaceful means to deal with international disputes.[4] Brazilian diplomacy has historically acted based on these principles.[5]

Brazil established relations with the Russian Empire in 1828, though relations were interrupted in the period 1918-1945 because of the 1917 Revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union. Relations were reestablished in 1945 due the Second World War but then interrupted once more because of Brazil’s strong anti-Communism. Relations were only restored in 1961, during Brazil’s short-lived “independent foreign policy” period. After the end of the Cold War, the two countries created a Russian-Brazilian High Level Cooperation Commission in 1997. In 2002, the two countries celebrated a long-term strategic partnership, while then-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso visited Russia. President Vladimir Putin then visited Brazil in 2004 in what became the first visit by a Russian head of state. Brazil-Russia engagement expanded after the creation of the BRICS mechanism in 2009. A series of visits were exchanged during the administrations of Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016), Michel Temer (2016-2018) and Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022).

Brazil recognized Ukraine’s independence in December 1991, and diplomatic relations were established in February 1992. President Lula da Silva made a state visit to Ukraine in December 2009, and Brazil hosted a state visit by President Viktor Yanukovich in October 2011. President Jair Bolsonaro met with Ukrainian presidents in January and October 2019.

In addition to understanding Brazil’s bilateral relations with both the Russian Federation and Ukraine, it is also worth understanding how Brazil responded to the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea. In May 2014, the Brazilian Congress invited Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Ambassador Luiz Fernando Figueiredo, to explain Brazil’s position regarding the situation in the Crimea. According to the Foreign Minister:

Since the beginning of the crisis, the [Brazilian] government has stressed the need for dialogue, and moderation from all parties, in order for a peaceful solution to be achieved with respect for human rights and democratic institutions … The situation requires prudence, moderation and a sense of historical responsibility from all parties involved.[6]

When specifically asked about why Brazil had abstained on a resolution (UNGA Resolution 68/262, adopted on March 27, 2014),[ii] questioning the popular consultation voting in the Crimea region, Foreign Minister Figueiredo indicated that:

The resolution passed judgment on Ukrainian internal affairs, including regarding the validity of the popular consultation ... Our solidarity with Ukraine exists regardless of how we voted on the resolution. We abstained together with 58 countries,[iii] including many from our region. We were not isolated against Ukraine.[7]

Latin America was particularly divided on the vote. Countries closely aligned with Russia, such as Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, supported the Russian position regarding the referendum. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay all abstained, while countries more aligned with the U.S., such as Colombia, voted in favor of the resolution.[8] Russian actions in Crimea were not seen in a positive light by the Brazilian population. A worldwide survey conducted in July 2014 showed that most Brazilians (59%) had an unfavorable perception of Russia, compared to 24% who had a favorable view.[9]

During the crisis that preceded the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, President Jair Bolsonaro took an ambiguous position. On an official trip to Russia on February 16, 2022, Bolsonaro and Putin discussed measures to increase cooperation between the two countries in several areas, primarily focusing on fertilizers (which are essential for the Brazilian agribusiness sector) as well as the prospects for strengthening military cooperation. After the meeting, their joint communiqué emphasized the need for conflict resolution by peaceful means and respect for the UN Charter.[10]

Nevertheless, in an interview in the same month, just days after the Russian invasion, Bolsonaro stated that Brazil’s position would be one of neutrality and said, “We want peace, but we don’t want to bring consequences for Brazil.” When asked about the Russian attacks, Bolsonaro stated that Putin would be concentrating the attacks only in two regions of southern Ukraine in which most of the population decided in referendums “to become independent by approaching Russia. A decision on my part could bring serious risks to Brazil ... the country needs fertilizers.”[11]

Prior to the February 24 invasion of Ukrainian territory, Brazil and Ukraine had celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations. In a commemorative event at the residence of the Brazilian Ambassador on February 15, 2022, the First Deputy-Minister of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:

Today, Ukraine sees Brazil as a key partner in America and also globally, and as a partner we can trust and rely on. Since 2009, when our relations have reached strategic level, Ukraine and Brazil have committed themselves to developing a long-term cooperation, not only in the political field, but also economic, cultural and scientific. Solidarity, friendship and mutual trust is the basis of our relations.[12]

Brazil, Cuba, and Mexico are the only Latin American and Caribbean countries to maintain resident embassies in Kyiv,[13] which provides the Brazilian government with an advantage in terms of access to direct information regarding the situation on the ground. Their active presence has proved particularly important regarding the conflict which has since emerged. The timing of Russia’s act was particularly delicate for Brazil, since during his February 16 visit, Bolsonaro stated that “Brazil stands in solidarity with Russia.”[14] For the Russian side, Bolsonaro’s visit was identified as an opportunity for Moscow, since Brazil-U.S. relations under Biden had experienced a decline.[15]

Brazil's Multilateral Role

With Brazil’s ascension to a non-permanent seat in the UNSC in January 2022, the emerging crisis between Russia and Ukraine gained complexity. In a statement at the UNSC on February 27, 2022, Brazilian Permanent Representative Ronaldo Costa Filho expressed concern regarding the way the situation was being handled by the UN:

It is our duty, both in the Council and in the General Assembly, to stop and reverse this escalation. We need to engage in serious negotiations, in good faith, that could allow the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, security guarantees for Ukraine and Russia, and strategic stability in Europe.[16]

Brazil voted in favor of the March 2, 2022 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution “demanding that Russia immediately end its military operations in Ukraine.”[17] Nonetheless, on April 7, 2022, when UNGA held a vote on a resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, Brazil was one of the countries that abstained.[18] The second vote reflects the Brazilian tradition of claiming that isolating a specific country will not necessarily help in bringing a solution to a problem and will limit the channels that are available to engage with this actor.

In addition to having to navigate the way the crisis between Russia and Ukraine was discussed at the United Nations, Brazilian actors also had to manage how the conflict was handled in a regional multilateral forum, the Organization of American States (OAS). In April 2022, the OAS suspended Russia as an observer state in the organization.[iv] At the time, the majority of member states (25) voted to suspend Russia,[19] but eight member states, including Brazil, abstained, while Nicaragua was absent from the vote.[20] Within the majority of OAS member states, the primary concern was how the conflict was affecting the provision of fertilizers, since Latin American countries, including Brazil, are high importers of these products for use in food production.[21]

During the October 2022 meeting in Lima, Peru, President Zelensky sent a video message asking for support from OAS members.[v] Brazil, alongside Argentina and Mexico, did not endorse the declaration entitled “Continued support for an end to Russian aggression in Ukraine.” In the document, OAS member states recognized “[t]heir immense disappointment at the indifference and disregard of the exhortations of the Organization of American States (OAS) by the Russian Federation to withdraw its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”[22]

Brazil also had to discuss the repercussions of the crisis within the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), where Brazil and Portugal tend to struggle on how to shape the direction of the organization. Ukraine submitted an official request to become a CPLP observer state in November 2009.[vi] In 2020, Russia also expressed an interest in joining the CPLP as an observer state.[23] Portugal’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has made it more prone to ask for CPLP condemnation of Russia’s actions. Nonetheless, Russia has historically supported many members of the organization, such as Angola and Mozambique, which has made it impossible to achieve consensus. For example, in 2014, Portugal and Cape Verde were the only CPLP member states that supported the UNGA resolution condemning the referendum in Crimea.[24] In June 2022, the CPLP Council of Ministers analyzed the situation in Ukraine[25] and “appealed for the immediate end to the conflict, with a return to peace and peaceful relations between states, with strict adherence to the principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, peaceful resolution of conflicts and self-determination.”[26]

The way that Brazil followed up on the situation between Russia and Ukraine at the United Nations in 2023 is also indicative of how the country has been navigating the situation. When UNGA approved a resolution (A/ES-11/L.7 of February 23, 2023) calling for an immediate end to war in Ukraine, the document included two considerations that, according to the Brazilian press, were influenced by the Brazilian representatives:[vii] first, calling on “UN member states and international organizations to redouble support for diplomatic efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine, consistent with the Charter;” and second, demanding “that the Russian Federation immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and calls for a cessation of hostilities.”[27] It is also important to note that Brazil was the only BRICS member state to vote in favor of the resolution, since Russia voted against it and China, India, and South Africa all abstained.[28] This reflects mixed views within BRICS regarding the condemnation of territorial invasion, as well as criticism of how the West applies double-standards in international relations.[29]

The Brazilian representative at a UNSC session on February 24, 2023 stated that “President Lula has made Brazil’s position clear, faithful to our diplomatic tradition. We condemn the Russian invasion and the territorial violation of a sovereign state, Ukraine.” The statement also reiterated Brazil’s willingness to play a role in the resolution of the conflict: “We are convinced that countries like Brazil, which are not directly involved in the conflict, have a constructive role to play in fostering dialogue.”[30]

Lula's Proposal of a "Peace Club"

The 2022 Brazilian presidential elections drew the attention of the international community, particularly as Brazilian society was highly polarized between those who supported President Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign for reelection and those who supported Lula da Silva’s return to office.

In May 2022, during an interview for Time, Lula da Silva mentioned that both Putin and Zelensky “shared blame” for the conflict.[31] Lula’s remarks were criticized by the Ukrainian Embassy in Brasília, which claimed that the future presidential candidate was “misinformed.”[32]

An important statement was made by President Putin during the question-and-answer segment of the Valdai Club plenary session held in Moscow on October 27, 2022.[viii] When asked about relations with Brazil, Putin responded:

We are fine with Lula and we are fine with Bolsonaro. We do not interfere in internal political processes. We have a consensus about cooperation with Brazil. We consider Brazil our most important partner in Latin America, which in fact it is, and we will do everything so that our relations will develop in the future.[33]

The statement confirms President Putin’s understanding of the importance of the bilateral relations with Brazil and its pragmatic approach towards the Bolsonaro administration.

After Lula’s election was secured, analysts indicated that he “would tend to follow the Bolsonaro line, avoiding clashes with Putin and maintaining neutrality.”[34] In his inauguration speech in the Brazilian Congress on January 1, 2023, President Lula stated that he intended to “reconstruct the lofty and active dialogue with the United States, the European Community, China, non-Western countries[ix] and other global actors, strengthening the BRICS, cooperation with African states and breaking from the isolation that the country had been under.”[35] While President Lula did not make a specific reference to relations with Russia, the country can be included in many of the categories mentioned, including “global actors” and “non-Western countries,” in addition to its participation in the BRICS group. President Zelensky sent Vice-President Yulia Svryrydenko to attend Lula’s inauguration[x] while Russia sent Valentina Matvienko, President of the Council of the Russian Federation.[36] Both countries therefore sent high-profile representatives to show the importance they were giving to the possibility of attracting Brazilian support.

After taking over Brazil’s presidency, Lula made a significant alteration to the Brazilian diplomatic position, to include the search for peace—a position shared by other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Chile that did not accept the U.S.’ proposal to contribute with arms and military means to Ukraine, preferring instead to support a peace negotiation process.[37] German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also visited the three South American countries but was unsuccessful in changing their stance. President Lula’s justification for rejecting the proposal was thus: “I don’t want to get into this war. I want to end this war.”[38]

Historically, Brazilian diplomacy has rejected unilateral sanctions. On the question of sanctions against Russia, Lula da Silva’s future Foreign Minister, Mauro Vieira, claimed in December 2022 that Brazil only adopts sanctions approved by the UNSC and considers non-UNSC sanctions illegal.[39] It should be noted that with Russia as a permanent member of the UNSC, Security Council sanctions against Russia will never be on the table anyway.

Additionally, in political crises or conflicts at the regional level, Brazil has a tradition of promoting the formation of groups of countries to mediate threats to regional security, often referred to as “group of friends.” For example, the Rio Group created in 1986 contributed to the solution of political crises in Central America.[40] In 2003, Brazil helped create the Group of Friends of Venezuela and put together European and Latin American countries to mediate the political crisis related to the election of Hugo Chávez. In an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, in February 2023, President Lula stated: “We need to find interlocutors who can sit down with President Putin and show the mistake he made by affecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine and we have to show Ukraine that it is necessary to learn to talk more so that we can avoid this war.” He concluded by noting that he considers it “necessary to create a group of countries to negotiate peace.”[41]

In Moscow, President Lula’s initiative to create a “peace club” was received without much enthusiasm. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in February 2023 that “We are examining initiatives, mainly from the standpoint of Brazil’s balanced policy, and, of course, taking into consideration the situation on the ground.”[42]

In Washington, the Brazilian proposal was received with skepticism or even ignored. The recently-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Brazil wrote an article about the first year of the war in which she did not mention the Brazilian peace proposal. She stated: “The next twelve months cannot look like the last. If Russia stops fighting and withdraws the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. ... [W]e know that their fight is part of something much bigger.”[43]

In Kyiv, President Zelensky also did not demonstrate an interest in the Brazilian proposal. In a video conference with President Lula, he expressed his intent to gain the support of Latin American countries. During the conversation, Zelensky invited Lula to visit Ukraine to show him the damage caused by the Russian invasion.[44]

In light of these reactions, the Brazilian proposal is likely to face several difficulties. On the Russian side, although Putin declares himself open to negotiations, there are signs indicating that he would only accept to negotiate if the conquered territories are maintained and Ukraine becomes a neutral country.[45] On the Ukrainian side, Zelensky has declared that he will not negotiate with Putin and that Ukraine will continue to fight to recover all the territories occupied by Russia since 2014, including Crimea.

Perceiving the difficulties but also the possibility of change, President Lula’s peace proposal aims to create a “peace club,” a group of countries with direct and indirect influence over Ukraine and Russia, to try to initiate a diplomatic process that will eventually lead to peace. The great difficulty is to determine which countries would participate in this so-called “peace club.”

President Lula mentioned that China could be one of the members, because of the country’s influence on Putin. However, the U.S. and its allies have already opposed a peace plan proposed by China, whose government they consider unreliable to deal with the subject. Other countries mentioned by President Lula include India and Indonesia.[46] The first is a member of the BRICS and, traditionally, has close ties with Russia. India has avoided criticizing Russia, called for peace negotiations, and claimed that it “is prepared to contribute to the peace process.”[47] Indonesia is an important country in this process because, similar to India, it has close ties with Moscow.[48] Concerning the conflict, Indonesia on the one hand supported the UN resolution condemning the Russian invasion, while on the other hand, as chair of the G20 from December 2021 to November 2022, Indonesia rejected the proposal to cancel President Putin’s invitation to the November 2022 G20 Summit in Bali. Nevertheless, the G20 invited President Zelensky to attend the Summit, to reaffirm its traditional foreign policy of “rowing between two reefs.”[49]

Another candidate could be Turkey, which has had an important role in mediating the Black Sea Grain Initiative. This has enabled the outflow of grain production from Ukraine.[50] Brazil and Turkey have already acted together in the failed negotiations for an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.[51]

Brazilian diplomats have been intensifying their efforts to get support, or at least to reduce resistance, from several countries for a peace process. During the Munich Security Conference, held on February 17-19, 2023, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vieira held talks with representatives from more than 20 countries to address the issue, including some from Europe.[52] At the end of March, President Lula sent to Moscow the former Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, who is currently a Special Advisor for International Affairs at the President’s Office. The diplomat discussed peace talks with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, and met President Putin at the Kremlin.[53] In an interview about the trip, Amorim stated: “It would be an exaggeration to say the doors are open but say that they are totally closed is not true either.”[54] While visiting China and the United Arab Emirates in April, Lula stated that Europe and the U.S. were prolonging the conflict.[55] During a visit to Portugal in the end of the same month, Lula stated that Ukraine “does not want to stop the war,” a comment that generated criticism from European authorities as well as the Ukrainian diaspora in Portugal.[56]

The above-mentioned comments led to a questioning of Brazil’s position regarding the conflict. In order to preserve Brazil’s role as a potential mediator, Amorim was therefore sent on a mission to Ukraine to meet with officials, including President Zelensky, on May 10.[57] During the meeting, Amorim and Zelensky discussed the possibility of holding a Ukraine-Latin America Summit and President Zelenksy reiterated his invitation for Lula to visit the country.[58] In an audience at the Brazilian Congress a day after Amorim’s meeting, Brazilian Foreign Minister Vieira stated that he condemns the violation of Ukraine’s territory but is against the international isolation of Russia.[59]

Despite Brazilian efforts to get support of several countries, any peace initiative will have to get U.S. approval, even if not publicly expressed, given the level of U.S. involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. Recent visits to Brazil by U.S. officials, such as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, show that the U.S. nevertheless values Brazil’s contribution to the ongoing debate.[60]


Brazil’s participation as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2022-2023 period raised the interest of different parties involved in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Brazil’s influential role in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) also provides the country with additional credentials, as Brazil is understood as able to influence the position of different LAC countries. Brazil’s return to the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (CELAC)[xi] further strengthens its regional leadership credentials and could influence Latin American position regarding the conflict.

With the transition from Bolsonaro to Lula da Silva, different actors such as the United States and Germany identified windows of opportunity to seek Brazilian support on the side of Ukraine. In addition to its role on the UNSC, Brazil will be taking over the presidency of the G20 on December 1, 2023,[61] further raising Brazil’s profile and therefore its potential mediation credentials.

In previous periods in office, President Lula chose to launch mediation initiatives towards ongoing conflicts or international crises, such as the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) efforts towards mediation in Syria in August 2011 or regarding the Iranian nuclear program.[62] Nonetheless, these initiatives never included the direct presence of either a permanent member of the UNSC or a nuclear weapons party of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Brazil’s potential influence regarding Russia appears to be much more limited, as in the previous cases of attempted mediation in Syria or Iran. Brazil’s geographical distance from Russia and Ukraine also appears to limit the country’s impact, as historically Brazil has been more successful in mediating conflict situations in its immediate neighborhood, as in the war between Peru and Ecuador in the mid-1990s.[63]

At the same time, Brazilian actors might face additional limitations on two fronts. First, the weight of the domestic political agenda. The shadow of right-wight Bolsonaro supporters is still around and will have to be dealt with by the government, as it has a potential to cause domestic instability. Second, Brazilian actors may find themselves busy with commitments at the South American level, particularly regarding the political situation in Venezuela or the economic situation in Argentina.

The Brazilian initiative to help mediate the conflict in Ukraine seems to be President Lula’s strategy to show that Brazil has returned to the international scene, using its greatest asset: open dialogue with all UN member states. This soft power, built over the course of years, was neglected under President Bolsonaro. Despite having this diplomatic leverage, the country will face challenges regarding a peace plan, especially because Brazil will be trying to mediate a war in which great power interests are at stake. Global reactions to Lula’s comments regarding the responsibility of each side in the conflict also illustrate the high risks of a self-appointed mediator role. Nevertheless, if Brazil’s strategy succeeds, it will have made a positive contribution to world peace and validated the claim that “Brazil is back.” Lula’s success could even further the country’s historic claim to a permanent seat in the UNSC.

[i] “Brazil is back” was part of a statement made by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva while attending the COP27 conference in Egypt in November 2022. At the time, Lula had just been elected president of Brazil. The statement was reproduced in different Brazilian and international newspapers, including after Lula da Silva’s inauguration in January 2023. See Catherine Osborn, “Brazil Is Back,” Foreign Policy, November 4, 2022,

[ii] The resolution declared invalid the March 16 Crimean referendum to secede from Ukraine. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 100 Member States in favor and 11 against, with 58 abstentions. The full text of the resolution is available at:

[iii] Brazil was among the 58 countries which abstained, so the Minister’s correct statement should have been: “We abstained together with 57 countries.”

[iv] Russia had become a permanent observer at the OAS on April 1, 1992. See OAS, “Permanent Council to Consider Draft Resolution to Suspend Russia as Permanent Observer to the OAS,” AVI068/22, April 19, 2022,

[v] Ukraine became a permanent observer at the OAS on May 9, 1994. See OAS, “GRANTING TO THE GOVERNMENT OF UKRAINE OF THE STATUS OF PERMANENT OBSERVER TO THE ORGANIZATION,” CP/RES. 629 (987/94), May 9, 1994,

[vi] Telegram 276 from the Brazilian Mission to the CPLP, March 19, 2010. As of July 2023, Ukraine has not been admitted as an observer state in the CPLP.

[vii] While the Brazilian newspaper Estado de São Paulo reported on February 24, 2023, that the Brazilian delegation had influenced the drafting of two articles of the resolution, Brazil was not listed as one of the co-sponsors of the document.

[viii] The second round of elections would only take place on October 30, 2022, three days after Putin’s statement in the Valdai Club meeting.

[ix] The original term used by President Lula was “países do Oriente,” which in a literal translation would be “Eastern countries.” Nonetheless, it is likely that the Brazilian president was referring to countries which are not considered as part of the West.

[x] President Lula da Silva tweeted about a meeting with Svryrydenko a day before his inauguration:

[xi] President Lula re-admitted Brazil into CELAC in January 2023. See Jeniffer Gularte, “Reecontro consigo mesmo,” O Globo, January 3, 2023, p. 18.

[1] The World Bank, “Russian Invasion of Ukraine Impedes Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery in Emerging Europe and Central Asia,” October 4, 2022, press-release/2022/10/04/russian-invasion-of-ukraine-impedes-post-pandemic-economic-recovery-inemerging-europe-and-central-asia.

[2] Antonio Ruy A. Silva, “Triste Aniversário,” Diário de Notícias de Portugal, February 24, 2023, https://

[3] Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Brazil is elected to the United Nations Security Council,” Note to Press no. 70, June 11, 2021,

[4] Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil (Brasília: Senado Federal, 2005).

[5] Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Brazil and Peacebuilding,” August 19, 2021, br/mre/en/subjects/international-peace-and-security/maintenance-and-consolidation-of-peace/brazil-andpeacebuilding?set_language=en.

[6] Statement by Minister Figueiredo Machado in the Brazilian Congress, May 7, 2014, https://www.

[7] Statement by Minister Figueiredo, 2014.

[8] Victor Mijares, “The Ukrainian Crisis and Latin America,” Americas Quarterly, April 3, 2023. https://

[9] Pew, “Russia’s Global Image Negative amid Crisis in Ukraine,” July 9, 2014, http://www.pewglobal. org/2014/07/09/russias-globalimage-negative-amid-crisis-in-ukraine/.

[10] Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Note to the Press no. 24. Joint Statement by President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin,” February 16, 2022,

[11] Juliana Steil, “Bolsonaro diz que Brasil adotará posicionamento “neutro” com relação à Ucrânia,” G1, February 27, 2022,

[12] Telegram 36 from the Brazilian Embassy in Kyiv, February 15, 2022.

[13] Telegram 55 from the Brazilian Embassy in Kyiv, March 14, 2022.

[14] Giovanna Galvani, “Bolsonaro em encontro com Putin: Somos solidários à Rússia,” CNN Brasil, February 16, 2023,

[15] Leandro Prazeres, Petr Koslov, and Katheryna Khinkulova, “Como visita de Bolsonaro a Putin é vista na Rússia,” BBC News Brasil, February 14, 2022,

[16] Statement by the Permanent Representative Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho in the Security Council Debate on the Question of Ukraine, February 27, 2022,

[17] “General Assembly resolution demands end to Russian offensive in Ukraine,” UNNews, March 2, 2022,

[18] “UN General Assembly votes to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council,” UNNews, April 7, 2022,

[19] Jim Wyss, “Despite leaving the OAS, Venezuela still has a seat at the table-kind of,” The Miami Herald, June 26, 2019, article231974597.html#storylink=cpy.

[20] “How each country voted at the OAS meeting in which Russia was suspended,” Infobae, April 21, 2022,

[21] IICA, “OAS Countries Back Director General Of IICA’s Call For Joint Efforts To Tackle Threat To Food Security Caused By Surging Fertilizer Costs,” May 20, 2022,

[22] “Continued support for an end to Russian aggression in Ukraine,” First plenary session of the fiftysecond regular session of the OAS General Assembly, held on October 6, 2022. The resolution is available at:

[23] "Rússia é um dos vários países com interesse em ser observador associado da CPLP,” RTP, January 1, 2020,

[24] “Observadores portugueses irão monitorar novas eleições na Ucrânia,” ONU News, April 17, 2014,

[25] “Conselho de Ministros da CPLP analise guerra na Ucrânia,” E-Global, June 3, 2022, https://e-global. pt/noticias/lusofonia/conselho-de-ministros-da-cplp-analisa-guerra-na-ucrania/.

[26] CPLP, “XXVII Reunião Ordinária Do Conselho De Ministros Da Comunidade Dos Países De Língua Portuguesa Luanda, 3 de junho de 2022,” 1&M=NewsV2&PID=10872.

[27] The full text of the resolution is available in English at: UNDOC/LTD/N23/048/58/PDF/N2304858.pdf?OpenElement.

[28] “UN General Assembly calls for immediate end to war in Ukraine,” UNNews, February 24, 2023,

[29] Jordan McLean and Luanda Mpungose, “BRICS and the Russia-Ukraine war: A global rebalance?,” SAIIA, September 19, 2022,

[30] Government of Brazil, “Statement by the Permanent Representative Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho on Ukraine-February 24, 2023,”

[31] “Brazil’s ex-president Lula claims Zelensky equally to blame for war,” The Guardian, May 4, 2022,

[32] Eduardo Gayer, “Embaixada da Ucrânia diz que Lula está ‘mal informado’ e convida ex-Presidente para audiência,” O Estado de São Paulo, May 4, 2022,

[33] Telegram 1261 from the Brazilian Embassy in Moscow, October 28, 2022.

[34] Guga Chacra, “Lula terá de restaurar a imagem do Brasil,” O Globo, October 31, 2022, page 18, https://

[35] Joelmir Tavares, “Leia íntegra comentada do discurso de Lula,” Folha de São Paulo, January 2, 2023, page A6; and Augusto Fernandes, “‘Que sejamos pária’, afirma Ernesto Araújo sobre o papel do Brasil no mundo,’’ Correio Braziliense, October 20, 2020, politica/2020/10/4884035-se-falar-em-liberdade-nos-faz-paria-internacional-que-sejamos-esse-paria-dizernesto-araujo.html.

[36] Domitila Andrade, “Delegações russa e ucraniana vêm ao Brasil para posse e são recebidas por Lula,” Diário de Notícias, December 21, 2022, delegacoes-russa-e-ucraniana-vem-ao-brasil-para-posse-e-sao-recebidas-por-lula.html.

[37] “We are for peace: Latin America rejects pleas to send weapons to Ukraine,” Financial Times, February 15, 2023,

[38] “Ministro de Lula reitera “não” a envio de munição a Ucrânia,” DW, February 17, 2023,

[39] Eliane Oliveira, Janaína Figueiredo, and Henrique Gomes Batista, “Interview with Ambassador Mauro Vieira: ‘Não nos preocupamos com a ideologia’,” O Globo, December 16, 2022, page 16.

[40] Celso Amorim, Conversas com jovens diplomatas (São Paulo: Benvirá, 2011).

[41] Interview with President Lula by Cristiane Amanpour, February 10, 2023, https://www.cnnbrasil.

[42] “Moscow Analyzes Brazil’s peace initiatives on Ukraine – Foreign Minister,” Tass Russian News Agency, February 23, 2023,

[43] U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Brazil, “If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends,” op-ed written by Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, published in Brazilian newspaper O Globo on February 23, 2023,

[44] Maolis Castro, “Ukraine’s Zelensky calls on Latin America to impose sanctions on Russia, cut trade,” Bloomberg Línea, August 17, 2022,

[45] President of Russia, “Vladimir Putin answered the media question,” October 14, 2022, http://

[46] “Lula suggests a group of nations to negotiate peace for Ukraine, Russia,” Agência Brasil, January 31, 2023,

[47] “India prepared to contribute to peace process: PM Modi on Ukraine War,” India Today, March 2, 2023,

[48] “Indonesia-Russia: the secrets of the brotherhood,” Antara Indonesian News Agency, October 5, 2022,

[49] M. Chatib Basri, “Now it’s delivered on the G-20, Indonesia can continue to lead as next ASEAN chair,” East Asia Forum, November, 20, 2022.

[50] United Nations, “Beacon on the Black Sea,” Black Sea Grain Initiative Joint Coordination Centre,

[51] Celso Amorim, Acting globally: Memoirs of Brazil’s assertive foreign policy (Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books, 2017).

[52] Simone Iglesias, “Brazil’s Lula Intensifies Diplomatic Push for Peace in Ukraine,” Time, February 23, 2023,

[53] “Brazil Presidential Adviser Met Putin to Discuss Peace Talks for Ukraine,” Kyiv Post, April 4, 2023,

[54] Catherine Osborn, “Can Brazil Negotiate an End to the War in Ukraine? Latin America Brief,” Foreign Policy, April 7, 2023,

[55] “Brazil’s Lula discusses joint Russia war mediation with China and UAE,” Le Monde, April 16, 2023,

[56] Barney Jopson, Henry Foy, and Bryan Harris, “Lula’s stance on Ukraine war mars his Iberian trip,” Financial Times, April 23, 2023,

[57] David Biller, “Lula’s envoy meets Ukraine’s Zelensky after comments that drew ire,” AP, May 10, 2023,

[58] “President of Ukraine, Advisor to President of Brazil discuss the possibility of Ukraine-Latin American Summit,” UKRINFORM, May 11, 2023, president-of-ukraine-advisor-to-president-of-brazil-discuss-possibility-of-holding-ukrainelatin-americasummit.html.

[59] Beatriz Borges and Elisa Clavergy, “Brasil condena ‘violação’ territorial da Ucrânia, mas é contra isolamento da Rússia, diz chanceler,” G1, May 11, 2023, chanceler-diz-que-brasil-condena-violacao-da-ucrania-mas-e-contra-isolamento-da-russia.ghtml.

[60] Anthony Boadle, “US envoy to UN urges Brazil to see Ukrainian side to the war,” Reuters, May 4, 2023,

[61] Assis Moreira, “Brasil assume a presidência do G-20 e precisa se preparar logo,” Valor Econômico, January 3, 2022, page A4,

[62] Mehmet Ozkan “Turkey–Brazil Involvement in Iranian Nuclear Issue: What Is the Big Deal?” Strategic Analysis 35, no.1 (2010): 26-30.

[63] David Scott Palmer, “Overcoming the weight of history: ‘Getting to yes’ in the Peru-Ecuador border dispute,” Diplomacy & Statecraft 12, no. 2 (2001): 29–46.