Russia’s Lavrov thanks Brazil for peacemaking efforts

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to meet with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva later today

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday thanked Brazil for its efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine ahead of a visit with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose comments on the war have unnerved Washington.

Lavrov and Brazilian Foreign Relations Minister Mauro Vieira addressed journalists after a meeting in Brasilia, discussing plans to boost meat exports to Russia and secure fertilizer imports for Brazilian farmers.

Lavrov will meet later today with Lula, who has proposed forming a group of nations not involved in the Russia-Ukraine war to broker peace.

Over the weekend, returning from China where he discussed the matter with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Lula reiterated his call for countries to stop providing arms.

“The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace,” Lula said in remarks to journalists broadcast by state TV.

“We are trying to build a group of countries without any involvement in the war, that don’t want the war and defend world peace, to have a discussion with both Russia and Ukraine,” he said in separate remarks to journalists.

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

So far, only French President Emmanuel Macron has welcomed the initiative.

Kyiv, Washington, and other allies say a ceasefire now would leave Russia in control of territory it seized by force, and Ukraine has a right to seek Western arms to drive invaders out.

The White House and U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Lula’s remarks.

But Michael McCaul, the Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee called Lula’s comments “wrong and reckless”.

“Putin, and Putin alone, is responsible for the unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine,” McCaul said in a statement.

The United States and the European Union have been providing Ukraine with weapons and other support since Russia invaded the neighboring country more than a year ago. Germany reportedly asked Brazil to supply arms as well, but Lula refused.

— Reuters


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