Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Friday declined an invitation to visit Russia during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Lula’s refusal comes days after the failure of a hoped-for meeting between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the G-7 summit that took place in Japan. The two presidents said that their preoccupation prevented them from meeting.
“I thanked (Putin) for the invitation to go to the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, and I replied that I cannot go to Russia at this time,” Lula wrote on Twitter, referring to the event scheduled for June 14-17.
“But I reiterated Brazil’s readiness, along with India, Indonesia and China, to talk to the parties to the conflict in pursuit of peace,” he added.
And Lula for the two expressed his “discomfort” at not meeting Zelensky.
However, he made it clear that he does not see any benefit in meeting him now, noting that neither the Ukrainian president nor his Russian counterpart seems to want peace.
“So far, they are both convinced that they will win the war,” he added.
Lula is pushing for peace talks and has suggested that his country mediate alongside other “neutral” countries such as China and Indonesia.
But he faced criticism last month when he said the United States should stop “encouraging war” in Ukraine.