The White House has accused Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of repeating Russian and Chinese propaganda. While visiting China, Lula said that the US should stop “encouraging” the war in Ukraine and seek peace instead.
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, the White House’s National Security Council’s Spokesperson, John Kirby, lashed out at Lula. “Brazil has substantively and rhetorically approached this issue by suggesting that the United States and Europe are somehow not interested in peace or that we share responsibility for the war,” Kirby said. “In this case, Brazil is parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without at all looking at the facts.”
The spokesman went on to call Lula’s statement “simply misguided” and “deeply problematic.”
Kirby’s statement comes as the Brazilian president scrutinized NATO’s role in the Ukraine war and sought to bring Moscow and Kiev to the negotiating table. “The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace,” he said Saturday. “The European Union needs to start talking about peace so that we can convince Putin and Zelensky that peace is in the interest of everyone and that war is only interesting, for now, to the two of them.”
On Sunday, Lula further disputed the Western narrative about the war in Ukraine by arguing Kiev and Moscow both bear responsibility for the conflict. Both Russia and Ukraine “had decided to go to war,” he remarked.
While visiting China last week, Lula proposed forming a coalition to pursue an end to the conflict in Ukraine. “I have a theory that I have already defended with Macron, with Olaf Scholz of Germany, and with Biden, and yesterday, we discussed at length with Xi Jinping.” He continued, “It is necessary to constitute a group of countries willing to find a way to make peace,”
The Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Monday. Vieira called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and criticized Western sanctions for harming the global economy.
Lavrov explained the Kremlin was happy with the role Brazil was willing to play in resolving the conflict. “As for the process in Ukraine, we are grateful to our Brazilian friends for their excellent understanding of this situation’s genesis.” He said, “We are grateful (to them) for striving to contribute to finding ways to settle it.”