That didn’t last long: Latin American governments refuse to send Russian or other weapons to Ukraine

Washington, Kyiv and the EU have been lobbying Latin American governments to promote arms to Ukraine, however Latin American governments nonetheless don’t need to get entangled on this battle.

4 Latin American nations – Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico – have categorically rejected US and EU requests to provide arms to Ukraine. As a reader could bear in mindUS Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Commander Gen. Laura Richardson mentioned lately that Washington encourages six nations within the area which have Russian navy tools, together with the 4 talked about above, “to both donate it or trade it for the USA.” Gear.”

The EU and Ukraine have additionally vehemently lobbied Latin American nations to provide Russian and other-made weapons. As I famous this time final week, such frantic cries for assist could possibly be construed as additional proof of the intense useful resource shortages afflicting the NATO alliance. However there will likely be no reduction from Latin America’s largest economies, that are decided to stay impartial within the battle.

Washington’s objective of urging nations to give up or “swap” their Russian arms seems to have three objectives: first, to cut back Russian arms gross sales and rising affect in its quick neighborhood; second, to interchange these gross sales and affect; and third, as an emergency resolution for Ukraine’s rearmament. Till the Ukrainian armed forces have sufficient Western-made weapons to replenish their inventories and discover ways to use them, which takes a very long time, their troopers are in dire want of ammunition for the Russian-made weapons with which they’re extra acquainted.

For that reason, Washington, Kyiv and sure European governments are urging Latin American nations to surrender their Russian weapons. Nevertheless it does not work.

“It isn’t value upsetting Russia”

Latin American nations with Russian-made weapons embody Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, all three of which have extraordinarily shut navy ties with Russia; endured years (or a long time in Cuba’s case) of debilitating US sanctions; and largely blame NATO growth and US interference for the battle in Ukraine. It may be assumed that they won’t quit any of their Russian-made weapons any time quickly.

The six nations Washington has tried to withdraw arms from are reportedly Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.

NATO members are usually not solely demanding Russian weapons. Earlier this month, Germany provided to pay Brazil’s authorities paid 25 million actual (about $5 million) for an ammunition dump for his or her Leopard 1 tanks. The request signifies that Berlin is able to provide Ukraine the older mannequin of its Leopard tank as properly. The truth is, the producer has already began refurbishing the autos, however there’s a lack of ammunition. Along with Germany, solely Brazil (with 261 items), Chile (30), Greece (500) and Turkey (397) function the tanks.

However Brazil isn’t able to play alongside. In accordance with a report this weekend in Folha de Sao PauloBrazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (aka Lula) rejected the request at a gathering with armed forces chiefs and Protection Minister José Múcio on January 20. The lately re-elected president mentioned it was “not value upsetting Russia”.

Later he mentioned:

“Brazil has little interest in passing ammunition for the Ukraine-Russia battle. Brazil is a land of peace. At this second we should discover those that need peace, a phrase that has been used little or no till now.”

Russia isn’t just one irreplaceable supply of fertilizers for Brazil’s huge agribusiness; it’s also a BRICS member. And Lula has praised to strengthen cooperation inside the framework of the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which might turn out to be a lot bigger with the admission of latest members. On the identical time is South Africa take warmth for sustaining its impartial stance on the battle because it prepares for navy workouts with Russia and China in February.

Readers could recall that as early as Might of final 12 months, Lula raised hackles in Washington, Brussels, London and Kyiv by blaming NATO for a lot of the Ukraine battle. In dialog with time coated journal right herementioned the three-time President:

Putin mustn’t have invaded Ukraine. However not solely Putin is responsible. The USA and the EU are additionally guilty. What was causing the invasion of Ukraine? BORN? Then the US and Europe ought to have mentioned, “Ukraine won’t be a part of NATO.” That will have solved the issue.

The opposite subject was Ukraine’s accession to the EU. The Europeans might have mentioned: “No, now isn’t the second for Ukraine to hitch the EU, we’re ready.” They didn’t need to encourage confrontation.

Lula additionally had this to say in regards to the man who would find yourself Time’s Man of the 12 months 2022, Volodymyr Zelenskyy:

This man, as Putin, is accountable for the battle. As a result of in battle there isn’t just one wrongdoer…

If he did not need battle, he would have negotiated a bit extra. That is it… You encourage this man [Zelenskyy], after which he thinks he is the icing in your cake. We must always have a severe dialog: “OK, you had been a pleasant comic. However let’s not go to battle to get you on TV.” And we should always say to Putin: “You’ve got many weapons, however you do not have to make use of them towards Ukraine. Let’s speak!”

As I famous on the time, as a former, albeit doubtlessly future, head of state, Lula had extra leeway than serving Latin American presidents to talk extra brazenly about each Zelensky and the function of the collective West within the battle in Ukraine. However its tune hasn’t modified a lot for the reason that reoccupation of the presidential palace. Final Thursday (January 26), Lula created Key positions of his authorities on the NATO-Russia deputy in a telephone name with Macron:

  • Brazil admits that Vladimir Putin’s Russia violated Ukrainian territory and that it’s unlawful.
  • However NATO’s conduct in recent times has not helped to make sure a relationship of belief with the Kremlin.
  • Brazil defends the opening of negotiations with Russia to achieve a ceasefire.
  • Brazil will assist set up peace however won’t contribute in any strategy to navy operations.
  • Brazil’s battle is towards a really completely different enemy: poverty.

rejections throughout

Lula isn’t the one chief in Latin America who has refused to provide Ukraine with Russian-made weapons. On Saturday the President of neighboring Argentina defined throughout a press convention with Chancellor Olaf Scholz that “neither Argentina nor anybody in Latin America” ​​thinks about sending arms to Ukraine.

As CNN reported A couple of days in the past, the presidents of Colombia and Mexico additionally made clear their place on Russia’s battle in Ukraine: “They don’t agree, peace should be sought and they won’t participate within the battle in any method.”

Talking on the Summit of Heads of State or Authorities of the Neighborhood of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) final Tuesday, Colombian President Gustavo Petro acknowledged that Colombia does certainly have Russian-made weapons purchased by earlier governments. He additionally mentioned that US officers urged him to donate these weapons to the Ukrainian trigger, to which he replied with a categorical no.

“I instructed them that our Structure features a dedication to peace on the worldwide degree. and [those weapons] stays in Colombia as scrap metallic; we won’t hand them over to be taken to Ukraine to lengthen a battle,” mentioned Petro, who additionally took pains to emphasise Colombia’s neutrality within the battle. “We aren’t with anybody. We’re with peace.”

Evidently, it is a dangerous place for a rustic’s elected chief has a minimum of seven US navy bases and reportedly dozens of so-called “quasi-bases” on its soil. For many years, Colombia has served as a strategic beachhead for the US to fight non-aligned nations in South America. It is usually one among NATO’s international companions and the Alliance’s first Latin American companion. However now Petro refuses to play any half in his proxy battle along with his historic enemy Russia.

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO for brief) not solely refused to ship arms to Ukraine; He criticized the German authorities for its resolution final week to ship tanks into the battle zone. AMLO cited the choice for instance of the ability company media wields over governments.

“Germany did not need to get too concerned within the battle in Russia and Ukraine. And towards the inhabitants of Germany or the vast majority of Germans, the federal government decides beneath strain from the media to ship extra weapons to Ukraine.”

Russia’s diplomatic providers responded to the statements by the 2 heads of state with tweets thanking them for refusing to ship arms to Ukraine. The Russian embassy in Bogotá issued an announcement praising Petro’s “very real looking” resolution to not donate Russian arms to Ukraine within the nation. In Mexico, the Russian Embassy acknowledged:

“We thank López Obrador for his open and clear place on the supply of German tanks to Ukrainian territory. We hope nobody doubts that there’s a direct conflict between the free West and Russia proper now. what is going on to occur to these tanks.”

Because the starting of the battle in Ukraine, the AMLO authorities, like most governments in Latin America, has tried to undertake a impartial stance on the battle. That is in step with Mexico’s lengthy, albeit discontinuous, historical past of neutrality, relationship again to the early Thirties. Mexico’s structure even features a checklist of rules of international coverage such because the dedication to non-interference within the inner affairs of different nations, the peaceable decision of conflicts, and the promotion of collective safety by lively participation in worldwide organizations.

However AMLO continues to be more likely to endure a backlash from the US for brazenly criticizing a key European shopper state on such a delicate matter. He’s already being accused by native media and opposition events of being Putin’s henchman. The identical goes for Petro.

As readers could recall, former US Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobsen lately indicted AMLO from “virtually on function…attempting to go to the USA”. And one of many greatest bones of competition, she mentioned, is the battle between Russia and Ukraine, notably Mexico’s refusal to “communicate out about it.” [Ukrainian] Sovereignty, as many nations on this planet have, not simply the USA.” That bone simply bought just a little greater.