Lisbon, Apr 22 (EFE).- Brazilian president Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva said Saturday that he is working to restore peace between Russia and Ukraine, after he was criticized by the United States last week over his stance.
The White House accused the Lula of “parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda” after he had called on the US to “stop encouraging war and start talking about peace” and met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Brasilia.
“Brazil wants to find a way to restore peace between Russia and Ukraine,” Lula said at a press conference Saturday with the Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
“Russia does not want to stop, Ukraine does not want to stop, we are going to have to find a group of countries that can generate a relationship of trust,” he added.
“The idea is to stop the war, sit down to negotiate and talk,” the Brazilian leader insisted.
“Stop while there is still time,” he said. “The war should not have started. Russia should not have invaded, but it invaded. Now, instead of choosing sides, I want to choose a third way: the reconstruction of peace.”
Lula pointed out that Brazil had condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations and insisted that he never “equated” Moscow and Kyiv, but reiterated that his country wants to stay out of the war.
That is why, he said, he refused to sell missiles to Ukraine, because “Brazil does not want to participate in the war, it wants to build peace”.
“I understand Europe’s role,” but “I want Brazil’s role to be understood as well,” Lula said alongside Rebelo de Sousa, who explained that Portugal’s position was quite different.
“It is not only the condemnation of Russia,” he said. “Portugal is in solidarity with Nato and the EU and thinks that it is not a fair situation not to allow Ukraine to defend itself and try to recover territory that was invaded with the violation of its territorial integrity.”
“For Portugal, an ally of the EU and Nato, the line is another one, for Brazil, it is the one defined by Lula,” Rebelo said. “It is up to the authority of each country to develop what they consider to be their priorities.”
Brazil’s stance on Ukraine is one of the issues that has fueled the political controversy over Lula’s visit to Portugal in recent days.
The Brazilian President, who arrived in Lisbon on Friday, will meet today with the Prime Minister, Socialist António Costa, before participating in the XIII Portuguese-Brazilian Summit, the first in seven years. EFE