Brazil won't take sides over Russia's invasion of Ukraine - foreign minister

Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov and his Brazilian counterpart Franca attend a news conference in Moscow
Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca attends a news conference following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia February 16, 2022. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Pool/File Photo

LISBON, March 8 (Reuters) - Brazil will not take sides over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said on Tuesday, adding its stance was one of "impartiality", not "indifference", and that it sought peace.

The invasion has triggered one of the fastest refugees crises of modern times, the United Nations says, with more than two million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, fleeing in just 13 days into the European Union to escape Russia's shelling and bombardment of cities and towns. read more

"Brazil's position is clear... We are on the side of world peace," Franca told a news conference in Lisbon when asked if he condemned the invasion. "We think we can reach that (peace)... by helping to find a way out (of the war), not by taking sides."

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow shortly before the invasion, angered Western allies by saying he was "in solidarity with Russia" without elaborating. read more

Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, has also noted that Russian fertilizers are crucial for Brazil's giant agribusiness sector.

Last month he scolded his Vice President Hamilton Mourao for condemning Russia's invasion and said that in Brazil only the president could speak about a crisis in eastern Europe.

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Nathan Allen and Gareth Jones

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