Brazil's Lula discusses peace effort with Zelenskiy in video call
BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that he will encourage countries to join peace talks to end the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
"I reaffirmed Brazil's desire to talk with other countries and participate in any initiative related to building peace and dialogue. Nobody wants war," Lula said on Twitter after the video call with Zelenskiy.
Lula will discuss the peace effort with China when he visits Beijing next month, and also with Russia, his office said in a statement. It said Zelenskiy had invited Lula to visit Kyiv.
"We discussed diplomatic efforts to bring peace back to Ukraine and the world," Zelenskiy tweeted. He said he thanked Lula for Brazil's vote in favor of the U.N. resolution last week that called for peace and demanded Moscow withdraw its troops.
Lula said Brazil backed the resolution because it defends the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The leftist Brazilian leader has been advocating the creation of a group of countries that could mediate a peaceful solution to the war.
Lula has declined to provide Ukraine with German-made artillery ammunition that Brazil has, insisting on the South American nation's policy of strict neutrality, though he has said Russia made a mistake invading a sovereign nation.
During a trip to the United States last month, Lula called for a negotiated solution to the conflict that would be achieved through the involvement of more neutral global players.
As Russia's invasion of Ukraine hit the one-year mark last week, Zelenskiy called for a summit with Latin American leaders and said he was willing to leave Ukraine to attend such a meeting.
In an interview with Time magazine last year, when he was still a presidential candidate, Lula said that both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelenskiy were responsible for the conflict.
At the time, Lula said that Zelenskiy "wanted war" and, if he did not, "he would have negotiated a little more," although he reaffirmed that Russia "was wrong" to invade its neighbor.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Paul Simao and Marguerita Choy)