During a meeting at the United Nations, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed his support for a peaceful settlement in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky, according to diplomatic sources. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
Lula emphasized to Zelensky that he firmly believes there can be no military solution to the conflict between the two countries. In fact, Brazil was the only member of the BRICS group, which includes China, Russia, India, and South Africa, to vote at the UN in condemnation of Russia’s military operation, the sources revealed. Lula highlighted that Brazil is eager to participate in efforts to achieve peace in Ukraine.
In response, Zelensky expressed his lack of confidence that any peace deal reached with Moscow would be fully fulfilled. He insisted on a settlement that would involve the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Despite these differences, the diplomats present described the meeting as “cordial” and stated that the leaders essentially reiterated their publicly stated positions.
Zelensky later described the conversation with Lula as “frank and constructive” on his Telegram page. Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira echoed this sentiment, labeling the meeting as “very important” and highlighting the good mutual understanding between the two leaders. Both leaders instructed their diplomats to continue working on bilateral relations and discussing peace.
This encounter between Lula and Zelensky marked their first in-person meeting. They had planned to meet at the G20 summit in Japan in 2022, but the meeting did not materialize due to delays from the Ukrainian leader. Zelensky was not invited to this year’s G20 summit in India last month.
The meeting between the Brazilian and Ukrainian presidents comes as Russia and Ukraine continue to grapple with the ongoing conflict. Earlier this week, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov reiterated Russia’s eagerness to seek a diplomatic solution but stated that there are currently no grounds for negotiations.
Efforts from leaders like Lula and Zelensky to engage in dialogue and seek peaceful resolutions are crucial in resolving the conflict. International support for diplomatic solutions, such as Brazil’s condemnation of the Russian military operation at the UN, can contribute to creating an environment conducive to meaningful negotiations. As the situation unfolds, it remains important for all parties involved to prioritize dialogue and peace in order to bring stability to the region.