Brazil’s Lula tells U.S. to ‘stop encouraging war’ in Ukraine

April 18, 2023 – By Roger McKenzie

Brazil’s leader said on Saturday that the United States should stop “encouraging war” in Ukraine. President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva sent the message as he ended his landmark visit to China and meeting with President Xi Jinping which heralded a “leap forward” in the relationship between the two nations.

Speaking to journalists before leaving China on Saturday, Lula said that Brazil’s relationship with the Asian giant is “going beyond” that phase of commodity exports. He said that he visited the headquarters of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei because he needed to promote “a digital revolution” in his South American nation.

Brazil is already the biggest recipient of Chinese investment in Latin America, according to Chinese media.

But Lula is also seeking to create partnerships that challenge the hegemony of Western-dominated economic institutions and geopolitics, including diplomacy over the war in Ukraine.

During the visit, the two leaders talked about how the 12-point plan for peace put forward by the Chinese in February could be progressed. Lula is proposing creating a group of countries to mediate an end to the war.

He said: “I have a theory that I have already defended with [French President] Emmanuel Macron, [German President] Olaf Scholz, and [U.S. President] Joe Biden. Today, we discussed at length with Mr. Xi. It is necessary to constitute a group of countries willing to find a way to make peace.”

Lula said that China and the U.S. both have an important role in the discussion on Ukraine, but “the U.S. needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace. The European Union needs to start talking about peace.”

He said that a united approach by the international community was the best way to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that “peace is in the interest of the whole world.”

Lula’s visit included the swearing in last week of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as head of the New Development Bank, which is funding infrastructure projects across the global South.

The bank is being developed as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which often impose punitive loan conditions, such as public service cuts and privatization, on already struggling developing nations.

At the swearing-in ceremony, Lula slammed both the IMF and the dominance of the U.S. dollar in international trade, hailing an agreement between Brazil and China to use the Chinese yuan in their bilateral financial dealings.

Morning Star


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