Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva faced protests during his recent state visit to Portugal following his controversial remarks on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Lula attempted to calm the situation by stating that he is simply calling for peace and restraint in the war, which was prompted by Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.
In a press conference over the weekend, Lula criticized the US for encouraging the conflict and called for both the US and the European Union to begin peace talks. He argued that war only benefits the two leaders, Putin and Zelensky, and not the people.
However, Lula’s comments were met with criticism from Ukraine, with their foreign minister’s spokesperson accusing Lula of putting the victim and the aggressor on the same level.
The spokesperson also criticized Lula for accusing countries that support Ukraine in defending itself against aggression of encouraging war.
Lula attempted to clarify his remarks, stating that while he condemns the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, he advocates for a negotiated political solution to the conflict.
He took the opportunity to denounce the invasion and urge for peace during his meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Despite his efforts to clarify his position, protesters still showed up during his state visit to Portugal, reflecting the growing criticism of his recent comments.
This is surprising, given Lula’s strong stance on international diplomacy, including his role in helping broker the Iran nuclear deal.
The situation between Russia and Ukraine remains tense, with ongoing clashes and diplomatic tensions. Lula’s call for peace and restraint has received mixed reactions, with some applauding his efforts while others criticize his approach.
It is unclear how Lula’s recent remarks will affect Brazil’s international relations, particularly with Ukraine and other countries involved in the ongoing conflict.
Nevertheless, the Brazilian president has stated that his comments were made in the interest of peace, and he will continue to advocate for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.