E.U. Official Accuses Russia of Using Grain as Geopolitical Tool: Ukraine Live Updates

Spread the love

E.U. Official Accuses Russia of Using Grain as Geopolitical Tool: Ukraine Live Updates

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visiting the White House earlier this year.Credit…Sarah Silbiger for The New York Times

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil has pitched his country as a peacemaker in Russia’s war with Ukraine. But he now seems to have accepted that neither side is ready to lay down arms anytime soon.

Brazil “is trying to find some way to use the word peace,” he told foreign correspondents during a breakfast on Wednesday. Later, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, he said, “For the time being, both of them are in that phase that ‘I will win, I will win, I will win.’”

Brazil — Latin America’s largest nation, which has long pursued a foreign policy of neutrality — believes it is well positioned to help bring an end to the war. Mr. Lula said that Brazilian officials have had conversations with counterparts in China, India, South Africa and Indonesia, as well as in other countries in Latin America and in Africa, about brokering peace negotiations.

He said he has made his chief foreign policy adviser, Celso Amorim, his “special war envoy” and dispatched him to meetings with Mr. Putin in Moscow and Mr. Zelensky in Kyiv.

And he has blocked Brazil from selling any weapons that could end up being used in the war.

But none of those efforts have yielded much progress, he said.

Still, Brazil is not giving up. Mr. Amorim, who will appear remotely at a meeting on Ukraine’s peace plan scheduled on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, said in an interview on Wednesday that his strategy is to respect both Ukraine and Russia, even if one invaded the other.

“Territorial integrity of states must be respected,’’ he said. “Security concerns, including Russia’s, also must be respected by everyone.”

Mr. Amorim said he believed that Brazil has more influence with Russia than it does with Ukraine, in part because of its place in a bloc known as BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

China, he said, has already helped tamp down Moscow’s rhetoric about nuclear weapons. He said that the United States could also play a key role in persuading Ukraine to seek peace.

Brazil’s stance that Russia’s concerns must be heard has frustrated Ukraine and its Western allies. When a planned meeting between Mr. Lula and Mr. Zelensky on the sidelines of the Group of 7 Summit in Japan in May failed to happen, the leaders blamed each other.

Mr. Lula has said that both Russia and Ukraine caused the war. And Mr. Zelensky has criticized Mr. Lula’s call for peace talks, saying the Brazil leader just wants to be “original.”

But Mr. Zelensky seemed to encourage improving relations recently when he suggested that Brazil host a summit for Latin American nations that Ukraine could attend.

Mr. Amorim, Brazil’s chief foreign policy adviser, said Brazil would welcome Mr. Zelensky for a visit — but would not host meetings for him.

“Brazil does not have to be a stage for anyone, not for Zelensky, not for Putin,” he said. “We want peace, we want the Ukrainian people to live in peace, to end the war in which they are the main victims. But for that, we also have to have credibility with the other side.”

Paulo Motoryn contributed reporting.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button