Brazil’s Lula rejects Putin’s invitation to visit Russia

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva declined an invitation to travel to St. Petersburg during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

The denial came days after Lula and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky clashed at the G7 summit in Japan, where a planned meeting between the pair broke down.

„I thanked (Putin) for the invitation to visit the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg and replied that I cannot go to Russia at this time,” Lula wrote on Twitter about the event scheduled for June 14-17.

„But I reiterated Brazil’s presence, together with India, Indonesia and China, to seek peace with both sides of the conflict.”

Ukraine has been at war with its much larger neighbor, Russia, since Putin ordered the invasion in February 2022.

While many Western countries sent weapons to Ukraine to help it defend itself and hit Moscow with financial sanctions, Lula instead tried to position himself as a mediator.

After their proposed meeting fell through in Japan, Lula said he was at first „dissatisfied,” before saying there was no point in meeting Zelensky, adding that neither he nor Putin seemed to want peace.

„For now, both of them are confident that they will win the war,” he said.

Last year, Lula came under fire for saying that Zelensky, like Putin, was „responsible” for the war.

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