El viceministro paraguayo Raúl Cano durante una reunión en Ginebra. Foto: Twitter

Mercosur refuses to listen to Zelensky due to “lack of consensus”

After having spoken before almost all the European parliaments, the United States and Canada, the NATO and G-20 summits, and even at the Cannes Film Festival asking for help and solidarity for his country, the Ukrainian president Volodomir Zelensky tried to intervene before the full Mercosur.

But it was in vain. Its members rejected, due to lack of consensus, its intentions this Thursday at the plenary meeting that takes place in Asunción, Paraguay.

“There was no consensus,” said Raúl Cano, Paraguay’s deputy foreign minister, confirming the rejection of Zelenski’s request. “In these circumstances, there are no conditions to be able to speak as Mercosur with the president of Ukraine,” he noted without revealing the countries that supported or rejected the request.

On July 6, Zelenski told his Paraguayan counterpart, Mario Abdo Benítez, that he wanted to send a message to the Southern Common Market countries at the July 21 Summit.

Benítez promised to consult his peers in Mercosur because decisions within this forum are made by consensus.

Without going into details, he said that Zelensky wanted to tell what was happening in his country so that the Mercosur leaders would know his version of everything that the Ukrainian people are experiencing after the Russian invasion.

Cano also added that the decision was transmitted to the Ukraine, specifying that the Paraguayan foreign minister, Julio César Arriola, communicated the resolution to the kyiv ambassador accredited in Argentina.

A few weeks before the invasion of Ukraine, the heads of state of the two main South American powers that are members of Mercosur, Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil, and Alberto Fernández, of Argentina, traveled to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin and reaffirm their good relations with him, as well as to thank him for the decisive help of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to Latin America.

In fact, Russia was one of the first countries to supply Sputnik V vaccines against COVID-19 to several Latin American countries.

Later, when the world was surprised by the invasion and by the beginning of a new geopolitical era, various positions emerged in the region.

The United States’ main ally in Latin America, Colombia, strongly condemned Russia, as did Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and, to a lesser extent, Peru.

On the other hand, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Brazil condemned the use of force and called for an immediate ceasefire. These countries insisted, above all, on a political solution between the parties within the framework of the United Nations.

This Tuesday, during an interview with the Brazilian network BalloonZelenski criticized the “neutrality” of his Brazilian counterpart Bolsonaro in the face of the Russian invasion and demanded a clear position from the leader in the face of the conflict, comparing his position with that of the leaders who remained neutral during World War II.

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