Neither Ukraine nor Russia can achieve every goal they’ve set in their conflict, but they need a mediator to facilitate peace talks, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has told journalists. The EU and the US were too quick to back Kiev, he has concluded, instead of trying to deescalate the situation.
“It is not necessary to have a war,” Lula said on Thursday, during a media breakfast at the Palacio do Planalto, the official presidential workplace. He also criticized the US and its allies for their role in the conflict.
“We think that the developed world, especially the EU and the US, had the option not to enter the war the way they did, so fast, without spending time trying to negotiate,” he explained. “Negotiating peace is very complicated.”
The Brazilian leader is set to travel next week to China, a nation with a similar position on Ukraine to his own. He said he hoped that his contacts with President Xi Jinping will help bring about a conversation “that we should have had a year ago.” India and Indonesia may have a role, too, he added.
Explaining his view on how the hostilities could end, he suggested that the status of Crimea should be excluded from the discussion, but stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot keep the land in Ukraine.”
Citizens in Crimea voted in 2014 to break away from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, after an armed coup in Kiev. A similar drive for independence arose in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, but Moscow urged the breakaway Donbass to remain part of Ukraine. Kiev deployed military force in an attempt to quash the rebellion but failed.
Moscow has cited continued Ukrainian military attacks against the then-self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kiev’s stonewalling of an EU-brokered reconciliation plan, as key reasons for the deployment of troops against Ukraine in February 2022.
Later in the year, the two Donbass regions, along with the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, held referendums on rejoining Russia. Kiev dismissed the ballots, which voted to rejoin, as “sham,” but Moscow said the status of its new parts was not subject to negotiation.
Lula believes that Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky “can’t want everything either.” Kiev has declared a military victory over Russia and a return of all lands, including Crimea, as preconditions for entering peace talks.
<p data-chorus-optimize-field="dek">President Zelenskyy visited the G7 and Arab League summits to make Ukraine’s case.</p> <br />