Under fire for “parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda,” Brazil’s President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday made clear his condemnation of Russia’s “violation of the territorial integrity” of Ukraine.
The White House on Monday had criticized Lula’s remarks during a recent trip to China that Washington was “encouraging the war” in Ukraine and that Kyiv shared blame for the conflict.
“Brazil is parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without at all looking at the facts,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, while Ukraine also expressed anger at the comments.
Lula met in Brasilia on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is visiting several Latin American nations during the week.
On Tuesday, the Brazilian president insisted that while his government “condemns the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine” it also defends “a negotiated political solution to the conflict.”
Lula was speaking during a lunch in honor of visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Lula’s main foreign policy adviser Celso Amorim on Tuesday described criticism of his boss as “absurd.”
“We have several points of convergence (with Russia), but at various times Brazil condemned… the invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
Brazil has not joined Western nations in imposing sanctions on Russia for its invasion, and has refused requests to supply ammunition to Ukraine.
Lavrov on Monday said Russia was “grateful to our Brazilian friends for their clear understanding of the genesis of the situation. We are grateful for their desire to contribute to finding ways of settling this situation.”
Lula has proposed creating a group of countries to mediate in the war.
Lavrov was in Venezuela on Tuesday, and would also visit Cuba and Nicaragua — all countries whose leftist governments are under US sanctions and at loggerheads with Washington.