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“On the side of diplomacy” – Brazil rejects Berlin’s demand to supply arms to Ukraine

By Horst Teubert and Dr. Peer Heinelt

Contrary to Germany and the other Western powers, Brazil rejects any arms deliveries to Ukraine and urges a mediation initiative to end the Ukraine war.

Brazil sees itself as a “country of peace” and rejects any involvement in the war; President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva responded Monday during Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Berlin’s demand that it provide Kiev with ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank.

Instead of constantly fueling the war with more weapons, he said, a mediation initiative must be launched.

Lula judges that China, in particular, but also India and Indonesia, could contribute to this.

Scholz does not support the Global South initiative to end the fighting; on Monday, he raised objections to it.

Olaf Scholz and Luiz Lula da Silva. (Photo internet reproduction)
Olaf Scholz and Luiz Lula da Silva. (Photo internet reproduction)

More and more governments, especially in the Global South, are pushing for a negotiated solution; most recently, Colombia, Egypt, and Israel have spoken out in favor of a negotiated solution.

This contradicts the West’s efforts to assert its global dominance in and through the Ukraine war.


The countries of Latin America had already primarily stayed out of the Ukraine war and the West’s economic war against Russia last year.

Although most of them had deplored the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the vote of the UN General Assembly on Mar. 2, including all three countries now visited by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz from Saturday to Monday (Argentina, Brazil, Chile), they had avoided any further partisanship in the conflict.

Mercosur, for example, refused to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to appear publicly at its Jul. 21 summit in Asunción.

In Chile, the right-wing Partido Republicano had already failed to allow Zelensky to address the Chilean parliament.

In July, Zelensky announced that he had spoken with then-Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro, who assured him that Brazil would maintain neutrality in the conflict.

The latter proves that refusing to take sides with Ukraine in Brazil corresponds to state interests and is not dependent on affiliation with a political current.


The West’s demand to participate in the delivery of ammunition and weapons to Ukraine has so far been met with granite in Latin America.

As early as last April, there were reports of plans to make ammunition available to the Ukrainian armed forces in Brazil for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank.

Brazil bought 34 Gepard tanks in 2013 to use them to protect significant events such as the 2014 World Cup against attacks from the air, especially with drones.

In the country, the defense company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has been operating a repair facility since 2016, where it repairs the Brazilian Gepard and Leopard 1 tanks as needed.

Even then, the ammunition delivery to Ukraine did not materialize.[5] This has not changed until today.

According to a daily Folha de São Paulo report, the decision not to comply with a recent request from the German government for ammunition deliveries was made on Jan. 20 at a meeting of government politicians and military officials.

“Brazil is a country of peace,” President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared on Monday; therefore, he said, it “does not want any participation in this war – not even indirectly.”


Lula’s affirmation that he does not want to supply weapons or ammunition to Ukraine is a blow to Berlin and Washington.

The U.S. government is currently exerting massive pressure on several Latin American states to provide Soviet- or Russian-made weapons in their possession to Ukraine.

Before Brazil, other subcontinent states have already publicly rejected the request.

For example, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced last week, “No Russian weapon purchased by Colombia will be used in the armed conflict in Ukraine.”

Petro added that Latin America should seek peace instead of supplying war equipment.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández, at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday, said, “Argentina and Latin America are not thinking of sending weapons.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in turn, openly criticized the German government’s decision to supply Kiev with battle tanks – an explicit confirmation that, despite all U.S. pressure, no arms aid whatsoever is to be expected from Mexico, but support for mediation efforts.


During Chancellor Scholz’s visit, Brazil’s President Lula went further on Monday and openly advocated launching a mediation initiative to end the Ukraine war.

It is necessary to quickly “bring a group of countries to the green table” to discuss “peace between Russia and Ukraine,” Lula said.

Brazil, he said, was readily “ready to contribute.”

For example, other mediation contributions could come from India or Indonesia; China could also “make a big contribution.”

“For once, the Chinese must also help to find peace between Russia and Ukraine,” Lula expressed; he would “discuss this with President Xi” when he visits “the People’s Republic” in March.

He said he has already discussed it with Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron – and next week; he will do so with U.S. President Joe Biden.

In doing so, the Brazilian president openly contradicts the Western powers, including Germany, which – far from seriously negotiating with Moscow and Kiev – continues to fuel the Ukraine war with ever-new arms deliveries.

"On the side of diplomacy" - Brazil rejects Berlin's demand to supply arms to Ukraine. (Photo internet reproduction)
“On the side of diplomacy” – Brazil rejects Berlin’s demand to supply arms to Ukraine. (Photo internet reproduction)


States in the Global South have long been calling for a negotiated solution with increasing intensity.

In September, for example, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar affirmed that his country was “on the side” of those calling for “dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out of the war.”

Turkey has been negotiating for a long time, and in some cases – such as in brokering an agreement on grain shipments across the Black Sea – with clear success.

On Tuesday, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry confirmed that his country was also continuing its “efforts in the search for diplomatic solutions” to the war.

Yesterday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also declared that he was prepared in principle to mediate between the two warring parties.

In this way, a counterweight to the Western – explicitly also German – efforts to inflict a clear defeat on Russia and subordinate every peace effort to this goal is becoming apparent, especially in the Global South.

From the West’s point of view, a Russian war defeat would be a significant step in defending its traditional global dominance.

This post was published first here.

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