"Rather, he is disappointed." Zelensky refuses to meet with Brazilian President Lula da Silva

"Rather, he is disappointed." Zelensky refuses to meet with Brazilian President Lula da Silva

Earlier, da Silva said that Ukrainian President Zelensky bears "the same responsibility" for the "conflict" in his country as Putin

"Rather, he is disappointed." Zelensky refuses to meet with Brazilian President Lula da Silva

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has left Hiroshima, having received the unanimous support of the G7 leaders. He also held bilateral meetings with, among others, the prime minister of India, the presidents of Indonesia and South Korea, and the prime ministers of Vietnam and Australia.

However, Zelensky's Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was unable to meet with him. According to the Brazilian press, the latter did not accept Lula da Silva's invitation. Zelenskyy cited his overloaded schedule as the reason, RFI reports.

Brazilian officials even put up a Ukrainian flag in the room of the Ana Crowne Plaza hotel, where the two leaders could have held bilateral talks. "We were accessible," commented one Brazilian official.

Leaving Hiroshima, the Ukrainian president held a press conference. Asked if he was disappointed that he was unable to speak with Lula, Zelenskyy replied: "He was rather disappointed."

In response, the latter said during a press conference before leaving Japan that he was "not disappointed."

"I was upset because I would have liked to meet with him and discuss this topic," he admitted, adding, "But Mr. Zelensky is an adult. He knows what he is doing."

Lula clarified that the meeting with the Ukrainian president was supposed to take place on Sunday afternoon, the last day of the summit. But the Ukrainian president was late and his busy schedule did not allow for a new meeting, he explained.

"A bilateral meeting with Ukraine was scheduled. We waited and received information that they were delayed. Meanwhile, I received the President of Vietnam. When the Vietnamese president left, Ukraine did not appear. He definitely had another meeting," Lula da Silva said.

Lula, however, said he sees no point in meeting with Zelenskiy immediately, believing that neither he nor Putin wants peace.

"At the moment, they are both convinced that they will win the war," the Brazilian leader added.

According to the Financial Times, French President Emmanuel Macron personally asked the Brazilian president to meet with Zelensky.

According to Agence France-Presse, Zelensky also expressed a desire "to speak directly with his Brazilian counterpart, who does not want to directly condemn the Russian invasion." But a meeting with "the leader who rolled out the red carpet for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his visit to Brasilia" never took place.

Brazil has never imposed financial sanctions on Russia or agreed to supply ammunition to Kyiv. Since Lula came to power, Brazil has been trying to position itself as a mediator.

This February, Lula proposed the creation of a peace club, which would include countries that would try to sit down with Ukraine and Russia to find a peaceful solution. He developed this idea during his visit to Beijing, where he also said that the United States should stop "encouraging war" in Ukraine. These words were sharply criticized by Washington, which accused Brazil of "echoing Russian and Chinese propaganda without taking into account the facts."

In an interview with the American Time magazine published in May 2022, then-presidential candidate Lula da Silva said that Ukrainian President Zelensky bears "the same responsibility" for the conflict in his country as his Russian counterpart Putin.

"I see all European parliamentarians applauding the Ukrainian president. This guy bears the same responsibility for the war as Putin. There is never a single culprit in a war," Lula said. – "He wanted the war. If he didn't want it, he would have negotiated."

Background. Read more about why Volodymyr Zelensky's visit became the main event at the G7 summit in Japan in Mind's article "No to Freezing the Conflict, or 7 Main Messages of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima".

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