Some Latin American countries are attached to their neutrality. According to the Brazilian daily Folha de S. Paulo, newly elected Brazilian President Lula da Silva has rejected the German government's request to provide Leopard-1 tank ammunition for delivery to Ukraine.
While the head of the Brazilian army Julio Cesar Arruda praised the economic interests of such a delivery, the Brazilian president opposed such an operation, arguing “it was not worth provoking the Russians”, details the Folha newspaper. This decision by the new Brazilian head of state would have come the day before the dismissal of Julio Cesar Arruda from his command post..
In a difficult internal political context, two weeks after the attacks on centers of power in Brasília by the nationalist ex-president Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian government maintains a position of neutrality in the conflict in Ukraine, even if the country condemned the Russian invasion at the UN. Still according to the Brazilian daily, Germany had already unofficially probed the Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro last year to obtain ammunition for the old anti-aircraft tank Gepard sent to Ukraine, Brazil still using this model.
Brazil is heavily dependent on Russian fertilizer imports for its agro-industry, and refuses since the first day of the Russian invasion to adopt Western sanctions against Moscow. The country, with its new president, is true to its traditional non-alignment. And Lula thus joins his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, despite opposing political positions, on the belief in being lenient with Vladimir Putin.
The Russian president had also congratulated Lula during his election in October, saying he would like "constructive cooperation in all areas". And Lula had drawn criticism by declaring in December that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “as much responsible” for the conflict as Vladimir Putin. Brazil is not the only one to maintain this position vis-à-vis Russia. Argentina also condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the UN but did not adopt economic sanctions against Moscow either..
The Argentinian President, Alberto Fernandez, said this Saturday in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visiting Buenos Aires, hope for the "end of hostilities as soon as possible" following "Russia's invasion of Ukrainian territory". “Russia must understand the damage it is causing in the southern hemisphere”, he added, referring to the repercussions of the war on “the price of food and hunger”.
However, the Argentine president has clarified that his country will not deliver weapons to Ukraine. He did not wish to comment on Germany's recent decision to supply tanks to Ukraine and stressed that "Argentina and Latin America do not plan to send weapons to Ukraine or to another place of conflict”.
Other Latin American countries also refuse to deliver arms to Ukraine, even if the United States insists on recovering the old Soviet material present on the continent, even if it means replacing it with new, according to the recent statements of the American general Laura Richardson. The daily Folha claims that Colombia recently refused to deliver old Soviet-made Mi-9 and Mi-17 helicopters..