Brazil’s Lula draws Russian praise, U.S. scorn for Ukraine views

By Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle
Apr. 18, 2023

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva drew criticism from the United States on Monday for his recent comments suggesting the West had been “encouraging” war by arming Ukraine, while he was praised by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for his proposal for peace talks.

Lavrov, on a visit to Brasilia, met with Lula and thanked Brazil for its efforts to resolve the conflict. But a White House spokesman accused Lula of “parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without looking at the facts.”

Lula has pitched himself as a broker for peace talks to end the Ukraine conflict, which began when Russia invaded the neighboring country in February 2022. That proposal was based on Brazil’s tradition of non-intervention and open diplomacy.

But Lula has angered many in the West with comments over the weekend, when he called for Western powers to stop providing arms for the war. The comments came shortly after he returned from China, where he discussed the matter with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace,” Lula said on Saturday in remarks to journalists.

He also called for a group of countries not involved in the war to engage Russia and Ukraine in peace talks.

“But we also have to talk to the United States and European Union. We have to convince people that peace is the way,” he said.

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