US Refusal Made Bolsonaro Ask Putin for Help with Nuclear Submarine

The United States' refusal to help Brazil with its nuclear submarine project led President Jair Bolsonaro to ask for support from Vladimir Putin. This was settled on his controversial February trip to Moscow but is now on hold due to the war in Ukraine.

Assistance with certifying the fuel to be used in the submarine's reactor and engineering issues led to technical missions from the Brazilian Navy to Washington to discuss cooperation. By 2018, it became clear that this would come to nothing.

Itamaraty, which participated jointly in the negotiation, decided to look for alternatives in view of the impact of the schedule. Putin's Russia, the second largest power in the field after the US, was a good candidate, despite already being in Western crosshairs due to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

After conversations between the countries, Bolsonaro was invited and accepted to visit the Kremlin this year, when the Russian was already openly accused by the West of preparing the invasion of Ukraine – which took place a week after the Brazilian left Russia.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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