SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva met on Saturday with representatives of Russia and Ukraine ahead of his inauguration and called for an end to the war between the two countries.
Lula, who will be sworn in on Sunday, said on Twitter he had separately met with the speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, and Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko.
The two were in Brazil to represent their countries at Lula’s inauguration and met both him and his future foreign relations minister, Mauro Vieira, according to pictures shared by the leftist leader.
Lula said he told Matvienko that Brazil wishes for “peace and for the parties to find common ground to end the conflict,” which began when Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
He said Svyrydenko brought him a report about her country’s situation.
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“In Brazil we have a tradition of defending the integrity of nations and we are going to talk to whoever is possible for peace,” said Lula, who spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month to discuss Brazil-Russia relations.
Lula has sought to share the message that “Brazil is back” on the global stage after four years under outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro, whose lax oversight of the environment and attacks on his country’s electoral system turned off many diplomats.
Lula is expected to travel to the United States, China and Argentina early in his term, while sources have told Reuters that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron may visit him in Brasilia as soon as January.
(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)
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