Lula ‘upset’ after Zelenskyy a no-show to Hiroshima meeting
Hiroshima, Japan, May 22 (EFE).- Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Monday that he was “upset” he did not get to speak with Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the G7 summit in Japan after the Ukrainian leader did not show up to their meeting.
In a press conference to take stock of his participation in the G7 summit, where he was a guest, Lula said that Zelenskyy did not appear for their scheduled meeting on the summit sidelines on Sunday.
He said that while he was waiting for the Ukrainian president, he met with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, but by the end of that hour-long appointment, Zelenskyy had still not shown up.
Zelenskyy on Sunday had played the incident down, telling a news conference that the meeting didn’t happen for scheduling reasons.
When asked if he was disappointed he did not get to meet Lula, he replied: “I think it disappointed him.”
Lula on Monday said that he wasn’t disappointed but “upset” because he would like to meet the Ukrainian leader for discussions, but also played it down, saying that if it couldn’t happen now, it will “on another occasion.”
Brazil’s leader has been neutral in his views on the war between Russia and Ukraine, at times critical of both sides, but in recent weeks has softened his stance.
Lula on Monday condemned the Russian invasion and insisted on the need for peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv, regretting that neither of them is willing to do so.
He recalled that two weeks ago he sent his main international adviser, former foreign minister Celso Amorim, to Kyiv. After holding talks with senior Ukrainian officials, he confirmed that at this time there are no conditions for peace.
“At the moment both are convinced that they are going to win the war (…) Neither Putin nor Zelenskyy are thinking about peace. And if there is no discussion of peace, the war could be very long,” he said.
Lula said that the countries of the Global South that are not involved in the war, including Brazil, India, Indonesia and China “want peace,” but that only Russia and Ukraine have the power to choose eventual mediators.
“I am not fighting to be a mediator. It has to be someone with whom both sides agree,” he added. EFE