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Russia’s war in Ukraine ‘aggravates’ pre-existing international problems, Finnish president says

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro addresses the United Nations General Assembly. (Brian McDermid/Reuters)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday called for diplomacy as the best way to end the conflict in Ukraine.

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Bolsonaro said the first step towards lasting peace must be “an immediate ceasefire, the protection of civilians and non-combatants, the preservation of essential infrastructure to help the population”.

Bolsonaro said Brazil does not see sanctions on Russia as a viable way to end the seven-month conflict that began after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“We do not believe that the best way is to adopt unilateral and selective sanctions that are incompatible with international law. These measures have undermined economic recovery and threatened the human rights of vulnerable populations, including in European countries” , Bolsonaro said.

“The solution to the conflict in Ukraine will only be achieved through negotiation and dialogue,” he said.

A bit of context: In April, Reuters reported that Russia had asked Brazil to support the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G20 group of major economies in the face of sanctions.

Bolsonaro, who has maintained Brazil’s neutrality in the Ukraine crisis, expressed “solidarity” during his visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 16, about a week before the start of the invasion. Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca previously said that Brazil opposes Russia’s expulsion from the G20.