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20.03.2014 00:18 News >> Brazil Breaks Silence Over Crimea

Brazil Breaks Silence Over Crimea

Brazil wants to see a 'negotiated solution' to the situation in Ukraine, after Crimea was proclaimed as part of Russia on Tuesday following an independence referendum widely viewed as illegal.

Brazil on Wednesday called for a "negotiated solution" a day after Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine, was claimed by Russia following an independence referendum viewed as illegal by the wider international community.

Brazil's s Minister for External Affairs Luiz Alberto Figueiredo made the call in Paris, standing alongside French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

Wednesday's are the first notable comments from Brazil on the situation in Ukraine and follow criticism from Brazilian media over the country's "silence" regarding the escalation in Crimea. Brazil will be hosting an economic summit later this year in which Russia will participate.

Figueiredo said he regretted any type of violence and he backed a solution negotiated between the various Ukrainian factions. One which "respected the democratic values and the will of Ukrainians".

When asked whether he would back sanctions against Russia, the Brazilian minister reiterated that dialogue was needed and called on other countries to act with moderation in the "very volatile" current situation.

"Ukraine is a friend of Brazil. We are following [the Crimean crisis] with great attention and support all efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General to negotiate the problem," Figueiredo said.

Fabius went further than the Brazilian minister and said that the two countries held the same stance over the crisis in Ukraine, namely that Crimea's independence referendum had been held in violation of Ukrainian law, echoing comments by the United States, Japan and the European Union.

Both Brazil and France said talks between Ukraine, Russia and other countries involved should follow. France wants to send regional observers to the Crimean peninsula but has not proposed a military intervention.

-BRICS Summit 'to go ahead'

Brazil has been accused of not wanting to ruffle feathers in the Kremlin, worried that President Putin would pull out of this year's 6th annual summit of the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] group of emerging economies, set to be held in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza in July.

Figueiredo told reporters that the summit would go ahead as planned.

It is not the first time that Brazil, the world's seventh-biggest economy, has faced criticism over its hands-off approach to global politics at moments of crisis.

President Dilma Rousseff has been criticized for her soft stance on crises in Libya and Syria, when the United States called on Brazil to move from "being a country that abstains to one that acts."

Figueiredo is on a one-day trip to France, where he is in talks with political figures over matters concerning defense, science, technology and education, Brazil's Ministry of External Affairs said.

The two countries are following up on a number of bilateral projects agreed during President François Hollande's visit to Brazil in December 2013. France is a key European trade partner for Brazil and eighth largest investor with annual bilateral trade just short of US$10 billion in 2013. - Washington DC



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