Marcel Gascon |
Kiev (EFE) one year after the invasion of his country.
The most ambitious initiative announced by Zelensky is the organization, in a capital “that is capable of bringing together as many countries of the world as possible”, of a summit on war focused on principles recognized by the UN as sovereignty and territorial integrity. of the States that Russia violates in Ukraine.
With the support of the West well underpinned, Zelenski seeks to add to the diplomatic efforts, and perhaps also the military, to achieve the withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory, countries that continue to maintain good relations with Moscow and have been ambivalent when it comes to take sides in the war.
Sovereignty against imperialism
To achieve this, Zelenski has adapted his speech.
From emphasizing the need to defend democracy and human rights, which are priorities for Western governments, Ukraine has come to emphasize two other principles at stake in this conflict, such as territorial integrity and sovereignty against the threat of imperialism. .
For historical reasons and political sensitivity, this argument is, a priori, more likely to resonate with the leaders of Latin America, Africa and Asia, three parts of the world that have experienced invasions by foreign powers and traumatic colonial experiences in recent decades and centuries. .
Lula as a potential ally
To make his way in this endeavor, Zelenski is counting on the President of Brazil, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, whom the Ukrainian leader has invited to visit Kiev, to ask for his help in ensuring that Latin America “better understands” what is happening in Ukraine.
Zelensky could invoke before Lula both his status as guarantor of the democratic order in Brazil, in the face of the coup impulses of the opposition, and the letter of anti-imperialism, a central theme in the discourse of the Latin American left to which the Brazilian president belongs. .
Lula has already shown interest in mediating the war, but he is starting from a difficult position to accept in kyiv. Before being re-elected, Lula apportioned the blame for the conflict between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
And more than a mediator, Zelenski is looking for an ally who, in the name of the people’s struggle against an imperialism that the Latin American left identifies more with the United States than with Russia, increases the pressure on Putin to comply with the UN Charter. and withdraw your troops from the Ukraine.
The UN vote
Ukraine does, however, have a positive precedent. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia or Chile, which are often critical of the United States and its closest allies, voted on February 23 in favor of a Ukrainian resolution that demanded the unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops.
Zelensky wants to translate this vote, in which 141 of the 193 UN countries supported the Ukrainian initiative, in an equally broad summit in which the principle of territorial integrity that Russia violates is expressly supported.
But despite the spectacular result, among the countries that abstained were two great powers such as China and India, to which Zelenski has appealed directly to signify themselves in the defense of the UN Charter also with regard to to Ukraine.
Zelensky has welcomed the fact that China has applied as a mediator in the conflict, and has shown himself willing to meet with its president, Xi Jinping.
But according to US intelligence, Beijing is considering supplying Russia with kamikaze drones, which could substantially strengthen the Russian side.
Information and embassies
Asked by Efe about Ukraine’s actions to improve its position in Latin America, the deputy head of President Zelensky’s Office, Igor Zhovkva, talks about diplomatic contacts, the opening of new embassies and chambers of commerce and more and better information.
“It is Russia that has invaded Ukraine, not the other way around, and that is what we have to show,” says Zhovkva about the Ukrainian recipe to counter Russian hegemony where Moscow remained the monopoly of the anti-imperialist discourse exported for decades from a USSR of which Ukraine was also a member.
Latin America clings to caution in the face of Zelenski’s requests
In Latin America, caution still reigns over what explicit support for Ukraine could mean, in the long run, for its stability.
In the region there are historical “friends” of Moscow who, although they have condemned the invasion, have not gone from words to action. And the task is not easy.
At the beginning of the invasion, Argentina had good bilateral relations with Russia, but as the conflict progressed, the government of Alberto Fernández ended up condemning the Russian invasion of that country in various forums and denouncing the enormous economic costs it has caused, especially in Latin America. .
Perhaps the country that is most firm in its condemnation and in its diplomatic willingness has been Chile. Its president, Gabriel Boric, has harshly condemned Russia’s “aggression” and has personally conveyed to Zelenski “all of Chile’s support on humanitarian issues.”
For his part, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has condemned the invasion of Ukraine, but at the same time has clashed with the Zelenski government for its rejection of sending arms to Kiev and issuing sanctions against Moscow.