Ukraine’s envoy hopes Brazil president comes to Ukraine rather than visits Russia

Ukraine’s envoy hopes Brazil president comes to Ukraine rather than visits Russia

Ambassador of Ukraine to Brazil, Andrij Melnyk, expressed hope that the President of Brazil, Lula da Silva, will not attend the BRICS summit in Russia, but will eventually visit Ukraine.

He said this in an interview with Germany’s ntv, Ukrinform reports.

"I hope Lula da Silva will visit Ukraine later this year," Melnyk said.

He recalled that over the last two years of war, no South American leader except Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei had visited Ukraine. The ambassador believes it would be useful for Lula to see awith his own eyes and feel what kind of war crimes were committed against the civilian population in Bucha and how the Russians bomb Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, every day.

At the same time, Melnyk hopes the Brazilian head of state will not travel to Russia, where the BRICS summit is set to be held in October.

Read also: Ukrainian, Brazilian foreign ministers discuss peace formula, trade projects

“I really hope President Lula will not do this although it is his sovereign right to decide on such a visit. Because it would be an honor for the war criminal Putin, who violates the UN Charter and international law and cold-bloodedly orders the killing of thousands of Ukrainian civilians day and night. Therefore, such a trip would send a fatal signal," the diplomat said.

At the same time, Melnyk added, it would be good if President Lula got more involved in the topic and exerted influence on Putin so that the Kremlin boss would end the war as soon as possible. He is sure that it is in the diplomatic field that Brazil with its "soft power could make a very important, perhaps even key, contribution. However, if the Russian war is simply ignored, as is happening now under Brazil’s presidency of the G20, this is not a good sign.

The Ukrainian ambassador does not believe that Brazil pursues a pro-Russian policy for ideological reasons.

Read also: Ukraine, Brazil’s defense chiefs talk military tech development

"In Brazil, pragmatic egoism is clearly at the forefront. Russia is the most important supplier of fertilizers, and now also the largest supplier of fuel. It helps the government generate profits in the agricultural sector and keep fuel prices stable, so the Kremlin is a key partner. But this cultural component is missing. There is no admiration for anything Russian here," the ambassador said, comparing it with the pro-Russian sentiments felt in the pre-war period in Germany, where Melnyk had served as ambassador for over seven years.

In general, Melnyk hopes that Ukraine’s allies will come to realize that Ukraine needs much more support – not only military but also diplomatic. According to him, "a strategic diplomatic initiative should try to challenge Putin while engaging the Global South more closely." The great powers – the USA, Germany, the UK, as well as China and Brazil – should not wait to see how the great battle ends, but take action themselves.

Andriy Melnyk has been the Ambassador of Ukraine to Brazil since June 20, 2023.

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