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Brazil abstains on Putin’s annexation of Ukrainian provinces

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Brazil abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Russia’s proclaimed annexation of the Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson.

The draft resolution was introduced on Friday by the US and Albania but swiftly blocked by Russia, which exercised its veto power as a permanent council member. In addition to Brazil, China, Gabon, and India also abstained. Ten nations voted in favor of the text.

The draft condemns referendums held in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine from September 23 to 27 and declares that the votes have no validity and may not form the basis for annexation.

In a statement made after the vote, Brazil’s UN Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho said: “It is unreasonable to assume that populations in areas of conflict are able to freely express their will. The results of such referendum […] do not constitute a valid expression of the will of the local populations and cannot be perceived as legitimate.”

However, he added that the scope and language of the draft “do not favor an environment conducive to a solution for the conflict in Ukraine,” and that the Security Council should “now explore new courses of action.”

The Brazilian Report asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the president’s office for comment. Both failed to reply.

In the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, Brazilian diplomats tried to get the US to tone down a draft resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine — but failed. In April, the country abstained from voting on a resolution suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

reactions around the world

In a pre-recorded video released shortly after Mr. Putin’s speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia’s moves a “farce” and vowed that “the entire territory of [Ukraine] will be liberated.” Mr. Zelensky added his country would apply for NATO membership “under a fast-tracked procedure.”

Other Western leaders, deemed by Mr. Putin as “the enemy,” were quick to condemn Russia’s move. The US government is enacting a round of new sanctions on top officials within the Russian government, as well as the defense and technology sectors — a measure aiming to further cripple the Russian war effort.

“None of this shows strength. It shows weakness,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. “It is an admission that the war is not going to plan.”

In Latin America, Chile’s Gabriel Boric said the annexation “has no legal value.” The delegation of Mexico voted in favor of this Friday’s draft.

Presidents Bolsonaro and Zelensky spoke on the phone in July. In an interview, Mr. Zelensky said he requested Brazil’s support in the war, something he has so far failed to obtain.

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