Lula Da Silva travels to Europe to relaunch diplomatic relations after his controversial statements about the war in Ukraine

Lula da Silva will travel to Spain and Portugal (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres) (Eraldo Peres/)

Since his arrival at the presidency on January 1, Lula da Silva He assured that Brazil would be “back” on the international scene after four years of Jair Bolsonaro’s management. However, in recent days it has caused strong diplomatic tension with the United States and the European Union (EU). having accused them of contributing to the continuation of the war in Ukraine. In his riotous criticism, made during his visit to China, he also blamed Ukraine for starting the war with Russia.

These statements were strongly criticized by Washington, Brussels and kyiv, and left the Brazilian president at the center of the controversy. For this reason, this Thursday he will travel to Europe with the aim of “relaunch Brazil’s relations with Europe”as recognized by the Secretary for European Affairs of his Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Luisa Escorel de Moraes.

Lula reiterated on several occasions that his government intends to play a mediating role to contribute to the end of the conflict, which has been going on for more than a year since that February 24, 2022, when Vladimir Putin gave the order to his troops to invade Ukraine. . But so far the only thing he has achieved with his actions is to distance himself from the West and be closer to Russia, accused of multiple war crimes.

Last Saturday, the Brazilian head of state met in Beijing with Xi Jinping, another international leader who avoided condemning Putin for the invasion of Ukraine. In the framework of the meeting they held in the Chinese capital, Lula criticized the military assistance that Washington and Brussels are providing to Kiev, stating that “the United States has to stop promoting war and start talking about peace.” He also called on the European Union to “start talking about peace.”

On the contrary, he highlighted the “very important” role of China in seeking peace. The same China as last week, after a visit by the Defense Minister to Moscow, stated that “the ties of union [con Rusia] they are stronger today than they were in the Cold War.” Or the same China that for weeks has been increasing the siege on Taiwan.

Xi Jinping received Lula in Beijing (Ken Ishii/Photo shared via AP)
Xi Jinping received Lula in Beijing (Ken Ishii/Photo shared via AP) (Ken Ishii/)

But what perhaps generated the most outrage was his criticism of Ukraine, country that he once again blamed for the war. From Abu Dhabi, where he arrived over the weekend from Beijing, he maintained that “the construction of the war is easier than the end of the war because the decision of the war was taken by the two countries”. He did nothing more than reaffirm what he declared last year in an interview with the magazine Timewhen he said that Zelensky is “as responsible” as Putin.

Sayings that are added to another controversial statement that Lula had at the beginning of the month, when he suggested that Ukraine cede the Crimean peninsula to Russia to facilitate the end of the conflict. when affirming that Zelensky “cannot want everything”.

The responses from kyiv and the West did not wait and were quite forceful. Regarding the possibility of ceding Crimea, the Zelensky government clarified that “there is no legal, political or moral reason that justifies abandoning a single centimeter of Ukrainian territory.”

He also responded to the president of Brazil for his statements over the weekend. Oleg Nikolenkospokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, clarified that in this conflict there is “a victim” and “an aggressor”, so they should not be treated with the same stick. He also maintained that “Ukraine does not need to be convinced of anything,” and invited Lula to visit his country to “understand” the causes and consequences of the Russian invasion.

The Joe Biden government, for its part, described as “outrageous” Lula’s criticism of the United States, and warned that with them Brazil is giving up its claim to neutrality. “Despite declaring itself neutral in the geopolitical dispute between the United States and China, Brazil seems to have clearly aligned itself with China and Russia,” different members of the White House told the Brazilian newspaper. Folha.

Even more emphatic was John Kirbyone of the White House spokesmen, who accused Lula of “repeating like a parrot” the Russian and Chinese propaganda about the war in Ukraine without having stopped to study “the facts.”

Last February, the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) held a meeting with Biden at the White House. There the war in Ukraine was discussed, the Brazilian president was open to cooperating with the West and even recognized kyiv’s “right to defend itself” against the “mistake” made by Putin. But in a short time the speech changed and his latest statements -closer to Moscow and Beijing- made “The scales are a little unbalanced”according to the opinion of the news agency AFP international relations expert Peter Britesfrom the Getulio Vargas Foundation of Brazil.

The US, the EU and the Zelensky government clarified to Lula that the only one responsible for the conflict is Russia (REUTERS / Umit Bektas)
The US, the EU and the Zelensky government clarified to Lula that the only one responsible for the conflict is Russia (REUTERS / Umit Bektas) (UMIT BEKTAS /)

In line with Washington’s release, the European Union recalled that “the victim” in the face of Russia’s “illegitimate aggression” is Ukraine. “It is not true that the EU and the US are helping to prolong the conflict. The truth is that Ukraine is the victim of unlawful aggression in violation of the Charter of the United Nations (…) The EU, the US and other international partners are helping Ukraine defend itself or it will face destruction.”stressed the spokesman for Foreign Affairs of the EU, Peter Stano.

Following this huge wave of statements and strong condemnations, Lula was forced to clarify that he condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a statement alongside his Romanian counterpart, klaus iohannis, affirmed that his government “condemns the territorial violation” of Ukraine by Russia, while defending that the end of the conflict be negotiated. The president of Brazil reiterated that the creation of a group of countries that contribute to Russia and Ukraine sitting at the table to negotiate peace is “urgently” needed.

For now, Lula will use his tour of Europe to rebuild relations and, above all, try to rebuild his image in the international system.

During his stay in the Old Continent he will travel to Spain and Portugal, where he will meet with the Prime Ministers Pedro Sanchez and Antonio Costa, respectively. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry has already announced that the issue of Ukraine will be on the agenda.

Brites considered that this European mini-tour will be an opportunity for Lula to make a “readjustment” and “show that he believes in the vision of global democracy that Europe defends”, after being so close and condescending to two regimes denounced for human rights violations. and war crimes.

Keep reading:

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