Will Bolsonaro’s Brazil Play a Destructive Role in BRICS? Moscow Gives Their Opinion

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MOSCOW, Russia – During the press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the future of the BRICS group in connection with the arrival of Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) to the Brazilian presidency.

According to the Russian foreign minister, Jair Bolsonaro, in contacts with Russian representatives confirmed the continuity of the line in relations with Moscow within BRICS.

“President Bolsonaro contacted our representatives, including our representative at his inauguration ceremony, the representative of the State Duma, Volodin. He confirmed his continuity in relations with Russia, and their willingness to participate in the development of BRICS,” said Lavrov.

The Russian foreign minister pointed out that Brazil has already begun its presidency in the BRICS.

“Literally in these days, our Brazilian colleagues made known to us the plan of their presidency, with the deadlines for the ministerial meetings, the summit and the program they propose to the participants of this union,” he said.

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According to Lavrov, Moscow sees no reason, with the new president, for Brazil to play a destructive role in the bloc.

“I see no reason to suppose that Brazil will play a destructive role in the BRICS. On the contrary, [Brazilian colleagues] assure us that this bloc, this union, is one of Brazil’s foreign policy priorities,” said the minister.

BRICS expert and Professor of International Relations of the Military College of Porto Alegre, Diego Pautasso, in an interview in December, said that the indications of the new government to reorient foreign policy may affect Brazil’s relations within the bloc, but pointed out that the Itamaraty tends to maintain certain continuity.

“At the first level, there is a certain relationship in Itamaraty between state policies and government policies, that is, no matter how much the executive changes, Itamaraty is a body of state employees that tends to maintain a certain continuity, although it is natural for every government to print its characteristics and priorities,” he said.

On the other hand, according to him, “at a second level one must understand how the Bolsonaro government, the chosen foreign minister and some other advisers and close associates of Bolsonaro, like his own son, will influence the decision making and the choices in the scope International.”

“If we take as indicative the statements of the president, the statements of the Foreign Minister and Eduardo Bolsonaro, the tendency is for a realignment towards the US, a distancing from the BRICS and the south-south axis, ceasing to be a priority in the Brazilian policy, and also not very important in Africa and South America. That is what I think,” said the expert.

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