Brazilian President Lula says 'upset' at not meeting Zelensky

Both leaders said scheduling conflicts had prevented them from meeting

Published - May 22, 2023 10:09 pm IST - Hiroshima

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a news conference after attending the Group of Seven nations’ summit in Hiroshima, western Japan on May 22, 2023.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a news conference after attending the Group of Seven nations’ summit in Hiroshima, western Japan on May 22, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday he was "upset" he and Volodymyr Zelensky did not meet at the G-7 summit, adding his Ukrainian counterpart seemed uninterested in negotiating peace with Russia.

Mr. Zelensky, who emerged from the summit in Hiroshima with fresh diplomatic support and pledges of more military aid, had sought a one-on-one meeting with Lula, who has faced accusations of being soft on Russia over its invasion.

Both leaders said scheduling conflicts had prevented them from meeting — which Mr. Zelensky quipped had likely left his Brazilian counterpart "disappointed".

"I wasn't disappointed. I was upset, because I'd like to meet him and discuss the matter," Lula told a news conference before heading home from Japan.

But "Zelensky is a grown-up. He knows what he's doing," he added.

Lula said his team had scheduled a meeting with Mr. Zelensky for Sunday afternoon. But the Ukrainian leader ran late, and his own agenda was full after that, he said.

Mr. Zelensky got resounding support from G-7 leaders at the summit, including long-sought U.S. backing for access to F-16 fighter jets.

He also wooed non-G-7 countries invited to the gathering, notably winning a pledge from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do "whatever we can" to resolve the conflict.

"I understand your pain," Mr. Modi told him.

There was no such show of support from Brazil.

Lula said he did not see a point in meeting Mr. Zelensky now, saying neither he nor Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to want peace.

"For now, they're both convinced they're going to win the war," he said.

Lula is pushing for peace talks and has proposed Brazil as a mediator, along with other "neutral" countries, including China and Indonesia.

But the veteran leftist faced criticism last month when he accused the United States of "encouraging" the war.

After the White House accused him of "parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda", Lula toned down his rhetoric, saying Brazil condemned Russia's invasion.

But he renewed his criticism on Monday.

U.S. President Joe Biden, he said, is sending the message that "Putin has to surrender and pay for everything he wrecked".

"That message isn't helping," he said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news