(RFI) The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, spoke by phone this Friday (26) with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Invited to participate in the International Economic Forum to be held in June in St. Petersburg, Lula rejected the proposal, but defended the dialogue with Moscow in Kiev in search of peace.
“I thanked (Putin) for an invitation to go to the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg and replied that I cannot go to Russia at this time,” Lula tweeted about this event scheduled to take place between June 14 and 17. “But I reiterated Brazil’s willingness, together with India, Indonesia and China, to talk with both sides of the conflict in search of peace,” added Brazilian.
According to the Kremlin, during the conversation Putin “confirmed that the Russian side is open to political and diplomatic dialogue.” However, this conversation “is still hindered by Kiev and its Western supporters.”
This is not the first time that Lula proposes that Brazil be a mediator in an eventual negotiation to end the war started by Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territory in February 2022. The proposal has been recalled several times during the head of state’s recent international trips.
Lula, who has been accused of being soft on Russia over its invasion, had a falling out with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during the G7 summit in Hiroshima last weekend, when a planned bilateral meeting with the Ukrainian ruler failed to materialize.
The Brazilian said he was “upset” that he did not meet with the Kiev representative, but also said that it did not make much sense to meet with Zelensky at this time because neither the Ukrainian leader nor Putin show any signs of wanting peace.
Also on Friday, the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, repeated almost the same words as Putin in his conversation with Lula. During a meeting in Moscow with Li Hui, China’s emissary, “the Russian chancellor reaffirmed Moscow’s commitment to a politico-diplomatic resolution of the conflict, noting the serious obstacles created by Ukraine and its Western supporters to the resumption of peace negotiations,” the Russian diplomacy indicated in a statement.