President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Senate whip on Tuesday met with a delegation of Ukrainian civil society representatives, who are in Brazil this week in an effort to rally international support for ending the war with Russia.
“I told them the position of the president, of Brazilian diplomacy, in favor of a search for peace and of humanitarian aid,” Senator Jaques Wagner of Bahia told The Brazilian Report.
“Some [of the members of the Ukrainian delegation] no longer believe in the possibility of negotiation. They think that, with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in power, only by winning the war will they be able to achieve peace,” he added.
“I don’t really believe in that solution, but I’m not suffering what they are suffering there.”
As The Brazilian Report showed in the Brazil Daily newsletter earlier today, the delegation is led by Oleksandra Drik, the international cooperation coordinator at the Center for Civil Liberties — an organization that shared the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
The delegation had a 45-minute meeting with Mr. Wagner this morning, and will meet tomorrow with diplomats at Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Even after the change in government with the 2022 election, Brazil has remained mostly neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war, refusing to take sides — a position frowned upon by Western powers.
Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine had a video conversation last Thursday, and came away with very different summaries of what was discussed. Lula failed to highlight Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the country’s major casus belli.
Back in May 2022, before the presidential election, Lula told Time magazine that Mr. Zelensky “did want war,” and that “the U.S. and the European Union are also guilty” for not guaranteeing that Ukraine would not join NATO — echoing one of Russia’s main talking points to justify the attack. Mr. Wagner told The Brazilian Report that Lula “never defended the invasion”, and stands for the self-determination of peoples.