Lula vetoed the shipment to Germany of ammunition for the tanks that will be delivered to Ukraine
The Brazilian president rejected Berlin's request just days before the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who will arrive in Brasilia next Monday
Leopard 1 tank (Shutterstock)
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva rejected a request from the German government for Brazil to supply ammunition for tanks, which Berlin will send to Ukraine to fight against the Russian invasion, reported the daily Folha de Sao Paulo.
Scholz decided this week to send a contingent of 14 Leopard-2 tanks and, in addition, released the export of weapons to those who wanted to donate them to Ukraine.
The Brazilian newspaper explained that Lula's decision It took place on January 20, during a meeting with the heads of the Armed Forces and the Defense Minister, José Múcio. The appointment was made one day before Lula decided to remove the Commander of the Army, Júlio Cesar de Arruda.
It was precisely Arruda who brought the proposal up for debate.
According to military and political officials consulted by Folha, Arruda said that Brazil would receive 25 million reais (about $5 million) for a batch of ammunition stockpiled for its Leopard 1 tanks.
The request for ammunition for the Leopard-1 suggests that Berlin is also willing to offer the old model of the tank, of which the manufacturer Rheinmetall has 88 units in stock. In fact, the company has already started reconditioning the vehicles but the main current problem is ammunition.
Apart from Germany, they only operate Leopard-1 Brazil (261 units , according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London), Chile (30), Greece (500) and Turkey (397).
The tank has an old 105 gun. mm standard caliber, while the Leopard-2 uses 120mm ammunition. That's why Brazilian ammunition is needed.
According to the Folha de Sao Paulo report, Lula said no, arguing that it was not worth provoking the Russians.< /p>
Lula da Silva (Reuters)
Brazil, despite having condemned at the UN the invasion that began on February 24, 2022, has maintained a position of neutrality for economic reasons since the administration of Jair Bolsonaro, refusing to participate in the sanctions against the Russia of President Vladimir Putin. With this decision, Lula ratifies the position of her predecessor.
In 2022, the Bolsonaro government had already rejected requests from the Ukrainian government to negotiate the acquisition of other systems, such as a batch of 100 to 1,500 Guaraní armored vehicles, manufactured in Brazil by the Italian Iveco.
The local media affirms that Lula'sveto is explained by the need to import fertilizers, vital for the country's agribusiness. Russia has led this market for years, selling an average of 22% of the product consumed by Brazilians between 2018 and 2022.
Still president, Bolsonaro made a controversial visit to Russia last week prior to the conflict and made statements refusing to take sides, which is Itamaraty's historical position.
Lula adopted the same line of condemning the war without positioning himself against Putin, which earned him a figure on the Ukrainian government's list of disseminators of Russian propaganda for a while.
Lula decided to veto days before the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who will arrive in Brasilia next Monday.