"Economic barriers that United States and Europe imposed against Russia did not work," says President Jair Bolsonaro, adding his position toward Ukraine conflict "was one of balance."

Bolsonaro says his
Bolsonaro says his "balanced" stance has allowed him to acquire fertilisers, a key input for Brazil's vast agricultural sector, from Russia. (Reuters Archive)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has said the economic sanctions imposed by the West against Russia have not worked, echoing comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The economic barriers that the United States and Europe imposed against Russia did not work," Bolsonaro told supporters on Thursday, adding that his position towards Putin and the conflict "was one of balance."

Bolsonaro said that stance had allowed him to acquire fertilisers, a key input for Brazil's vast agricultural sector, from Russia. 

He also said Russia shared Brazil's concerns over the "sovereignty" of the Amazon.

READ MORE: Brazil lashes out US against claims of being on Russian side

Criticism over engagement with Russia 

The comments by Bolsonaro, who met with Putin days before the assault on Ukraine in February, are likely to go down badly with the United States and many European countries, which have previously criticised Brazil's engagement with Russia.

The president has often described criticism by other nations of his stewardship of the rainforest as an infringement on Brazil's sovereignty.

Earlier on Thursday, Putin said it was obvious that Western sanctions were creating difficulties, "but not at all what the initiators of the economic blitzkrieg against Russia were counting on."

In June, Bolsonaro and Putin discussed global food security in a phone call and confirmed their intention to strengthen their strategic partnership.

READ MORE: Putin assures 'uninterrupted' fertiliser supply to Bolsonaro

Source: Reuters