Scholz fails during South American tour to gather support for Ukraine
This trip comes as Europe seeks to re-strengthen ties with Brazil which were tense during former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's term.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz faced his first failure during his South American tour in an attempt to collect unity for Ukraine and aggression against Russia in light of the war, which Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva blamed both countries for.
Scholz thanked the countries he visited as part of the tour, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, for denouncing the war in Ukraine last year during the United Nations General Assembly.
This trip comes as Europe seeks to restrengthen ties with Brazil which were tense during the term of the former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.
In a joint news conference in Brazil, Scholz's delight for Brazil's return to the global stage was short-lived after Lula expressed his views on the war, saying: "I think Russia made the classic mistake of invading another country's territory, so Russia is wrong," as he added: "But I still think that when one won't, two won't fight. You have to want peace."
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To Scholz's discontent, Lula confirmed that Brazil wouldn't transfer ammunition to Ukraine intended as supply for German-made Gepard anti-aircraft guns, instead reiterating the will to help achieve peace in Ukraine.
Latin America refuses to send weapons
During the tour, Argentina and Chile's governments overtly condemned the war in Ukraine but ruled out expectations to fuel ammunition in the war. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said: "Argentina and Latin America are not planning to send weapons to Ukraine or any other conflict zone,"
On the other hand, Chilean President Gabriel Boric voiced his condemnation; however, he said that "some media or opinion makers could believe it was a bad decision to get involved in the politics of other countries" but also vowed to help Ukraine rebuild after the war.
Scholz paid a visit in Argentina and Chile to memorials to the victims of military dictatorships, and expressed: "At this memorial to the many victims of the dictatorship here I cannot help but think of the young people who are being killed in Iran because they are fighting for freedom and a better life."
German government officials relayed that they understood the Latin American nations' behavior toward the situation but were adamant on conveying the Western perspective.
On a separate note, during the conference in Chile, Scholz said that the German companies are very interested in expanding cooperation, especially in the field of lithium, and they plan on insuring "sustainable mining" in Chile.
He also signed cooperation agreements in technology and innovation, mining, and economy with the Chilean side.
The Chilean state-owned copper mining company Codelco and Aurubis, the biggest copper producer in Europe, signed a memorandum of understanding.