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White House Criticizes Lula’s Peace Brokering Rhetoric

  • White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's comments are ‘misguided’.
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited the Brazilian capital and expressed gratitude for Brazil's approach to pushing for an end to hostilities in Ukraine.
  • Earlier this month, Lula suggested Ukraine could cede Crimea to end the war.

The White House has sharply criticized Brazil after its president accused the United States of encouraging the war in Ukraine, saying he was "parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without looking at the facts."

John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said on April 17 that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's comments over the weekend during trips to China and Abu Dhabi were "simply misguided."

Kirby’s comments came as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited the Brazilian capital and expressed gratitude for Brazil's approach to pushing for an end to hostilities in Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters in a press conference that the West has engaged in "a rather tough struggle" to maintain its dominance in world affairs, including economics and geopolitics.

"As for the process in Ukraine, we are grateful to our Brazilian friends for their excellent understanding of this situation’s genesis. We are grateful [to them] for striving to contribute to finding ways to settle it," Lavrov said.

Lavrov spoke after meeting with Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, who told reporters that Russia accounts for one-quarter of the South American country's fertilizer imports, and that he and Lavrov discussed measures to guarantee the supply.

He also reiterated Brazil's view that sanctions against Russia were causing negative impacts for the global economy, particularly in developing states, and that Brazil supports an immediate cease-fire in Ukraine.

Lula has refused to provide weapons to Ukraine, saying this would mean entering the war. The Brazilian leader says he seeks peace through mediation by a club of nations including Brazil and China, an approach that has irked both Kyiv and the West.

He told reporters on April 16 in Abu Dhabi that two countries -- both Russia and Ukraine -- had decided to go to war. That comment came a day after saying during a trip to China that the U.S. must stop "stimulating" the continued fighting and start discussing peace.

Earlier this month, he suggested Ukraine could cede Crimea to end the war. Ukraine rejected the proposal.

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