Lula is essentially saying that the comprehensive expansion of Brazilian-Russian economic relations is dependent on Russia compromising on those national security goals that it seeks to advance through its ongoing special operation in Ukraine, which Moscow officially regards as existential. This stance contradicts everything that the multipolar community stands for, thus placing Brazil on the West’s political side in the Russian-US dimension of the New Cold War despite its growing ties with China.
The global systemic transition to multipolarity has seen dozens of countries abandoning the Western-centric paradigm of International Relations that’s infamous for its imposition of unilateral conditions onto others and the influence that zero-sum thinking places on policy formulation. Brazil formally counts itself as one of those states that’s focused on building a more equitable world order, particularly in joint coordination with its BRICS partners, yet President Lula just discredited it during his trip to Portugal.
While there, RT reported that he placed conditions on his visit to Russia that was extended to him by President Putin via Foreign Minister Lavrov during the latter’s recent visit to Brazil. Lula’s chief foreign policy advisor recently revealed in a lengthy interview about his boss’ worldview that he doesn’t have any plans at the moment to go there or to Ukraine, but the Brazilian leader clarified on Saturday that he might reconsider if those two make tangible progress towards peace.
He probably thought that this would make him look “balanced”, “neutral”, and “pragmatic”, but while this approach will likely earn him a proverbial pat on the back from his Western partners, it completely discredits his country’s foreign policy in the eyes of Russia and the rest of the multipolar community. The reason for this assessment is that this second category of countries doesn’t believe in imposing unilateral conditions onto their partners, let alone those that involve their relations with third parties.
What Lula just did shows how closely aligned his worldview is with the US’ ruling liberal-globalist Democrats with whom he reportedly proposed launching a global influence network during his trip to DC in February per Politico’s recent report citing congressional figures who attended that meeting. Instead of concocting a “publicly plausible” pretext to “politely” turn down his counterpart’s invitation to attend mid-June’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Lula is making demands of President Putin.
He’s essentially saying that the comprehensive expansion of Brazilian-Russian economic relations is dependent on Russia compromising on those national security goals that it seeks to advance through its ongoing special operation in Ukraine, which Moscow officially regards as existential. This stance contradicts everything that the multipolar community stands for, thus placing Brazil on the West’s political side in the Russian-US dimension of the New Cold War despite its growing ties with China.
About those, Lula’s grand strategy (which can be learned more about in detail through the preceding two hyperlinked analyses) is basically to “balance” between its top Chinese and US partners – however clumsily – via de-dollarization with the first and proselytizing “wokeism” with the second. Relations with Russia are considered expendable since its importance in this paradigm pales in comparison to those two’s, being mostly relegated to the sphere of cooperation on commodities (including energy).
Even though Brazil and Russia have shared interests in accelerating financial multipolarity, especially through BRICS’ new reserve currency project, Lula clearly let his ideological preference for the West take precedence over this by imposing the conditions that he just did for participating in mid-June’s event. There’s absolutely no chance that Russia will compromise on its national security goals in Ukraine just so he’d consider showing up at that investment forum so it should be taken for granted that he won’t go.
While his side’s propagandists might try to spin this by reminding everyone that he won’t go to Ukraine either unless it and Russia make tangible progress towards peace, Brazil’s relations with Kiev aren’t anywhere near as important for the global systemic transition as its ones with Moscow are. It can therefore be said that Lula isn’t just holding bilateral ties with Russia hostage via his unilateral demand, but is thus also slowing down the pace at which their shared financial multipolarity goals unfold.
What’s so damning about this insight is that every objective observer now knows that Brazil can’t be relied upon during Lula’s third term since he’s formulating foreign policy under the influence of outdated Western-centric paradigms due to his ideological alignment with the US Democrats. No member of the multipolarity community can take their ties with that country for granted, not even China, since there’s always the chance that the US will pressure him to replicate this unfriendly policy against them too.
Should a hot conflict break out in the South China Sea or across the Taiwan Strait for example, then it’s expected that Lula would also unilaterally reduce Brazil’s ties with China on the false pretext of wanting to come off as “balanced”, “neutral”, and “pragmatic”. After all, US-led NATO is actively waging a proxy war on Russia through Ukraine right now, yet he didn’t let that prevent him from visiting DC in early February or Portugal this weekend. This shows that he’s indeed hypocritically applying double standards.
Considering this, his peace rhetoric can be seen as nothing more than a cover for his political alignment with the US against Russia in the most geostrategically significant conflict since World War II. It’s just a tactic for deceiving wishful thinkers in the Alt-Media Community and facilitating his propagandists’ gaslighting operations aimed at manipulating popular perceptions about the truth of his foreign policy. By placing conditions on his visit to Russia, Lula proved that ties with that BRICS country are expendable.
I really enjoy and appreciate your analysis. I've read many, many like yours over the years, some better than others, but I've never paid for it, not even Joaquin Flores when FortRuss was in its heyday. You're good and I sense you will get better. Enough flattery, enough said.
Your choice of words is excellent, sometimes impeccable. You write beautifully. Please don't take offense at my suggestion(s), none is intended.
"...the US will pressure him to replicate this unfriendly policy..."
'Unfriendly' is right, but I don't believe it carries quite the nuanced weight intended.
«Коварный» springs to mind in Russian because it's fresh from discussions on the radio about how the Americans are describing the Russians' ability to circumvent (oil) sanctions. (Accusatory Inversion)
We don't use it so much in English, but I would suggest — straight from 'Reverso' — 'devious' or 'perfidious'. 'Insidious', 'scheming', 'conniving', 'treacherous' are also good; I don't think 'wily' or 'cunning' really cut it here. More than just 'unfriendly' it's about treachery and scheming and self-serving greed and lack of insight and perception and a lot of other stuff which I think you'll get over to a lot more people a lot more effectively with something like 'scheming' or 'self-serving'.
Please excuse me for being a smart-arse.
Even Pepe Escobar, a long time defender of Lula despite his otherwise rather bright point of view on the World, finally comes to terms with the idea that Brazil is the 5th column.