Brazil’s Lula said spoke to Putin on war, declined invitation for economic forum

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Getty/ Horacio Villalobos

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Friday he had a phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and reaffirmed his willingness to establish peace talks with both sides of the war in Ukraine.

The refusal came just days after a spat between Lula and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 summit in Japan, where a planned meeting between the pair fell through.

Lula tweeted he had also thanked Putin for an invitation to attend an economic forum in Saint Petersburg, but had to decline it as he “can’t visit Russia at the moment”.

“I reiterated Brazil’s willingness, along with India, Indonesia and China, to talk to both sides of the conflict in pursuit of peace,” the leftist leader added.

Lula has pitched himself as a peace broker to end the war, which began when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

His proposal, based on Brazil’s tradition of non-intervention and neutrality, calls for a group of nations not involved in the war to engage both Russia and Ukraine in talks.

After their proposed meeting fell through in Japan, Lula first said he was “upset” before then claiming that he did not see a point in meeting Zelensky, saying neither he nor Putin appeared to want peace.

“For now, they’re both convinced they’re going to win the war,” he said.

Last year, Lula came under fire for claiming that Zelensky was “as responsible” for the war as Putin.

Additional reporting by AFP

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