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WORLD | 03-03-2023 11:48

Lula tells Zelenskyy he wants to help with Ukraine bid for peace

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva renews proposal for his country to take part in international mediation concerning Ukraine conflict.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday renewed a proposal for his country to take part in international mediation concerning Ukraine, during a call with his counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"I have just had a video meeting with the president of Ukraine. I reaffirmed Brazil's desire to speak with other countries and participate in whatever initiatives around the construction of peace and dialogue," Lula posted on Twitter. "War cannot be of interest to anyone."

Zelenskyy confirmed the phone call and thanked Brazil for supporting a UN resolution on February 24 that demanded Russia immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

"We highlighted importance of upholding the principle of sovereignty & territorial integrity of states," Zelensky said of the call on Twitter. "We also discussed diplomatic efforts to bring peace back to Ukraine and the world."

Ukraine has been at war with its much larger neighbour Russia since President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion a year ago.

The conversation between the two presidents came a day after Brazil's Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during the G20 meeting of foreign ministers in New Delhi.

While many Western countries have sent weapons to Ukraine to help it defend itself against Russian aggression and even more have imposed sanctions on Moscow, Lula da Silva has ruled out sending arms to Kyiv.

Instead, he created a group of countries seeking to produce a negotiated peace deal.

The Brazilian presidency in a statement Thursday reiterated that Brazil "defends the territorial integrity of Ukraine" but also wishes to "gather a group of nations capable of talking with both sides of the conflict to promote peace."

Lula da Silva first made his proposal public during a conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Brasília on January 30. He also presented his idea to US President Joe Biden and France's Emmanuel Macron.

Russia's deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Galuzin, said last week that Moscow was studying the proposal.

Last year, Lula came under fire for claiming that Zelenskyy was "as responsible" for the war as Putin.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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