Scholz downplays variations on Ukraine on South America tour

By Sarah Marsh

SANTIAGO, Jan 29 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sought to drum up assist for Ukraine throughout his first South American tour though variations along with his hosts emerged, with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declaring the area was not planning on sending weapons.

On his three-day journey, Scholz has sought to emphasize unity, noting all three international locations he’s visiting – Argentina, Chile and Brazil – condemned Russia’s invasion on the United Nations Normal Meeting final 12 months.

The fallout of the battle and Western sanctions on Russia similar to hovering meals and power costs, nevertheless, have hit the area significantly exhausting, elevating questions over the West’s method.

Fernandez mentioned in a joint information convention with Scholz in Buenos Aires on Saturday that Argentina, like Germany, needed to assist restore peace as quickly as attainable.

However requested if Argentina would ship weapons to Ukraine to fend off Russian troops like Germany and its western allies had, he gave an emphatic no.

“Argentina and Latin America usually are not planning to ship weapons to Ukraine or another battle zone,” he mentioned.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric didn’t consult with the battle in his opening statements at a information convention with Scholz in Santiago de Chile on Sunday, focusing as a substitute on financial cooperation, significantly within the commodities sector.

In each international locations, Scholz visited memorials to the victims of their army dictatorships that he mentioned underscored the necessity to battle for democracy and freedom.

“At this memorial to the various victims of the dictatorship right here I can’t assist however consider the younger people who find themselves being killed in Iran as a result of they’re preventing for freedom and a greater life,” he mentioned in Buenos Aires.

German authorities officers say it’s comprehensible Latin American international locations, so far-off from Europe and with such totally different considerations, have diverging views on the battle, however highlighted the significance of constant to convey Berlin’s perspective.

Scholz heads on Monday to Brazil to turn out to be the primary Western chief to satisfy with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva since his inauguration.

European needs to re-set relations with South America’s largest nation following the exit of the divisive far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro.

The resilience of democracy is more likely to be excessive on the agenda for talks given the storming of presidency buildings earlier this month by Bolsonaro supporters.

Nonetheless, variations can as soon as extra be anticipated.

Final 12 months, Lula mentioned Russia by no means ought to have invaded Ukraine, however added Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was as a lot accountable for the battle as Russian chief Vladimir Putin. (Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Further reporting by Brendan O’Boyle; Enhancing by Lincoln Feast.)

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