“I didn’t go to Russia and I’m not going to Ukraine”, says Lula
President received invitation to visit Kiev, but declined; Brazil will send Celso Amorim to meet with Zelensky
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) said this Saturday (April 22, 2023), during his trip to Portugal, that he will not go to Ukraine. The Chief Executive stated that he will only visit the country when there is a possibility of having a “climate of peace”.
“I have not been to Russia and I am not going to Ukraine. I just go [à Ucrânia] when there is a possibility of effectively having a climate of peace building”he declared.
The Chief Executive received an invitation to visit Kiev. In his place, Lula will send Celso Amorim, head of the Presidency of the Republic’s special advisor for International Affairs, to Ukraine. The former foreign minister will travel to the country to meet with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Amorim went to Russia in early April, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, was also in Brazil and met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira.
Visit to Portugal
In Portugal, Lula also denied having equated Ukraine’s responsibility with Russia’s in the ongoing war in Europe. The declaration comes after a malaise created by the president in Brazilian foreign policy last week, when he suggested that there would be ambivalence in the blame for the conflict both in Kiev and in Moscow.
Alongside the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, during an official visit to Lisbon, Lula reaffirmed his intention to find a path for dialogue to end the conflict.
“I never equated the 2 countries, because I know what invasion is, I know what territorial integrity is, and we all think that Russia made a mistake and we already condemned [a invasão] in all UN decisions”said the petista in a speech to journalists.
“But I think it is now necessary to stop the war, and for that we need someone who talks […] and Brazil is willing to establish this conversation policy”completed.
The head of the Brazilian Executive said he also understands Europe’s position in offering weapons to Ukraine, but he stressed that anyone who does not speak of peace is contributing to the conflict.
“If you don’t talk about peace, you contribute to war”declared the Brazilian president when asked about the role of the EU in the conflict.
Rebelo de Sousa, on the other hand, stated that an eventual path to peace gives Ukraine the right to react and recover its territorial integrity. He defended that the invader is not benefited and that the violation of international agreements is punished.
During his speech this Saturday (April 22), Lula spoke again about an invitation made by the then US president, George HW Bush, for Brazil to join the Iraq war, in 2003. The Brazilian president said he had refused the invitation , since his priority was the “War on Hunger” in national territory.
“My war again is to end hunger in the country, and at the same time build a way to make the world live in peace”he stated.