Jair Bolsonaro travels to Russia: why is Brazil’s President focusing on an alliance with Vladimir Putin?

The fact that the Brazilian president is traveling to Russia right now, when tensions between the Anglo-Saxons and the Putin government are at their peak, shows that Bolsonaro represents an increasingly self-confident Brazil.

Russian President, Jair Bolsonaro travels to Russia: why is Brazil’s President focusing on an alliance with Vladimir Putin?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In November 2004, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid Brazil the first visit by a Russian head of state. At the time, he emphasized the strategic importance of the South American giant and second-largest economy in the Americas after the U.S. for Russian foreign policy, comparing it to that of countries such as China, France and Ukraine.

Eighteen years later, Putin himself is preparing a reception for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, currently campaigning for re-election, who is due to land in Moscow in mid-February – shortly after Alberto Fernandez’s visit to the country – in one of the stops of a tour that will also include contacts with the Hungarian and Polish governments.

Russian President, Jair Bolsonaro travels to Russia: why is Brazil’s President focusing on an alliance with Vladimir Putin?
Bolsonaro seeks to build international alliances and show that he is connected to the world. (photo internet reproduction)

The fact that the Brazilian president is traveling to Russia right now, when tensions between the Anglo-Saxons and the Putin government are at their peak, shows that Bolsonaro represents an increasingly self-confident Brazil.

The idea of the visit came from the Russian president, confirmed Brazilian government sources, who announced it shortly after handing over credentials to the new Brazilian ambassador to Moscow Rodrigo Baena Soares last December.

The Brazilian president gladly accepted Putin’s invitation because he knows that he will be received with honors in Moscow, just as ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was, his main rival, during his visits to Paris, Berlin, and Madrid, in the second half of last year.

With Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Polish President Andrzej Duda, the Brazilian head of state feels very much at ease. Bolsonaro shares with all of them an agenda of values, also defended, among others, by the Spanish Vox party, and, in the United States, by former President Donald Trump.

Brazil, Russia, Poland, and Hungary, together with Turkey, could form a strong core of a counter-axis to countries such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States on the one hand, and dangerous China on the other.

Such a strategic alliance alternative can probably only be beneficial for the world. With Russia and Brazil, two countries would join forces that are huge and globally dominant in terms of raw materials and food supplies.

In times of increasing global unrest, the two countries could support each other. Brazil, one of the largest food producers and exporters in the world, can feed Russia and all other allies, and nuclear power Russia can protect Brazil from anyone.

The EU and US pressure on Brazil to submit to their climate agenda as well as their Covid agenda and the Western trend of total citizen control through QR-based digital IDs is growing.

What happens if Jair Bolsonaro does win the presidency in October 2022 despite the many doubts? How will the Western powers react?

Today, Western countries criticize Brazil but leave it alone as their governments, Big Tech, international media conglomerates, and Lula da Silva’s PT party in Brazil work hard to bully Bolsonaro out of office and put the country back in the vassal list of Western powers, with their ally Lula da Silva assuming the presidency.

Russia is so aggressive. (Photo internet reproduction)
Russia is so aggressive. (Photo internet reproduction)

Russia and Brazil together literally do not need anyone else, are self-sufficient, have nuclear weapons, extensive cash reserves, represent a market of 330 million people, and form a strong magnet for smaller countries in South America and Eastern Europe that no longer feel comfortable in the “Western” alliance of the USA and EU and are looking for a new strategic home.

Bolsonaro wants to remind Brazil and the world that he is well connected with strong partners, which could also bring him the centrist support he needs to advance to the second round in the presidential election. Leftist Lula da Silva is preparing a trip to Mexico, and his associates are considering a visit to the United States.

While Bolsonaro’s leftist critics and the hostile press at home immediately disapprove of a photo with Putin or Orban, the reaction of Bolsonaro’s supporters is the exact opposite.

INTERESTS AT STAKE

The last Brazilian President to visit Moscow was Michel Temer in 2017. Today, Brazil accumulates a US$4 billion annual trade deficit with Russia, mainly due to the import of Russian fertilizers (which explains the presence in the Brazilian delegation of the Minister of Agriculture Tereza Cristina).

There are many interests at stake, said a Brazilian government source, who recalled that the two countries are partners in the BRICS, a group that also includes China, India, and South Africa.

The Brazilian President hopes that Putin will express his support for Brazil’s aspiration for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, of which Russia is a member. Brazil has just begun a 2-year rotating term on the body. When a Brazilian source is asked about the crisis with Ukraine, the answer is that this is not Brazil’s problem.

DISPUTED PARTNER

Meanwhile, Russia and the United States are playing their cards to have the dominating Latin American country as an ally in the event the conflict escalates. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently approached Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos França to urge Brazil, if necessary, to take a strong and forceful position on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The Brazilian foreign minister’s response was that his country would always maintain constructive dialogue as a means of reaching solutions. This is clearly not what Joe Biden’s administration expected and indicates that Bolsonaro’s Brazil will not let the leftist U.S. government dictate with whom it sits at the table and with whom it does not.

The bilateral agenda between Brazil and Russia also includes issues such as Russian investments in the areas of oil and gas, space, and cultural cooperation. After his visit to Brasilia in 2019, Putin held a virtual meeting with Bolsonaro in 2020 and at the time assured that Bolsonaro gathered “the best qualities.”

The Brazilian president returned the praise in another virtual meeting organized last year in which he said that relations between Brazil and Russia represent “a strategic alliance”.

The details of Bolsonaro’s international visits are still being defined. In Brasilia, it is said that there is some concern among Polish authorities about potential protests against the Brazilian President in their territory. This does not worry the Russians in the least, who are tightly controlling their opponents.