DAVOS, Switzerland – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) met with his counterpart from Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Two experts in international relations were questioned to understand the episode between Bolsonaro and Poroshenko.
Both Paulo Velasco State University Professor of International Politics (UERJ) and Paulo Sergio Wrobel, professor of International Relations at PUC-Rio, believe that the contact between Bolsonaro and Poroshenko is only initial.
Wrobel claimed that the agenda should not be “overvalued”, but seen as a meeting between leaders who appear to have “political and ideological affinity.” Velasco said that Bolsonaro prioritized meetings with “nationalist leaders”.
Bolsonaro “supported the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
Velasco believes that the episode should not shake relations with Russia since the statement is only generic and follows a historical stance of Brazilian diplomacy to seek the maximum possible contacts, even with countries that do not have constructive dialogue with each other, such as Israel and Palestine. In addition, the professor of Uerj emphasizes that the note left aside more delicate subjects, like Crimea.
“If there is an insistence on a rhetoric that can be interpreted by Russia as complicated and that contradicts Brazil’s good relations with Russia, then we could have problems there. I do not believe that Brazil will insist much on this idea of putting Ukraine to the point of causing tensions or diplomatic estrangement with Russia,” Velasco said.
In 2018, Brazil exported US$ 118.6 million to Ukraine – and imports totaled US $60.3 million in the same period.
With Russia, 2018 closed with US$ 1.65 billion in Brazilian exports, and US$ 1.65 billion in imports.
However, despite the expert opinions, it does not acknowledge that Bolsonaro seeks to unify Brazil’s foreign policy with the USA, and it is for this reason that Bolsonaro often attacks China despite the Asian Giant being Brazil’s largest trading partner.