White House Criticises President Lula For Accusing U.S Of Encouraging Ukraine War
The White House has sharply criticised Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for accusing the United States of “encouraging” the war in Ukraine.
Lula said after a visit to China at the weekend that the US needed to start talking about peace in Ukraine.
Visiting Brazil, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Lula and thanked Brazil for its efforts.
US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby accused Lula of “parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda.”
Lula, who has pitched himself as a broker for peace talks to end the conflict, said over the weekend that “the United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace.”
His comments came after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping. China published a peace plan in February that does not explicitly call for Russia to leave Ukraine.
Russia waged a full invasion of Ukraine in February last year. The International Criminal Court has since issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr Lavrov, who visited Brasilia on Monday, said that Moscow was “grateful to our Brazilian friends for their clear understanding of the genesis of the situation.”
“We are grateful for their desire to contribute to finding ways to settle this situation,” he said.
Mr Kirby said Lula’s comments were “simply misguided” and missed the mark by “suggesting the United States and Europe are somehow not interested in peace, or that we share responsibility for the war.”
In response, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said of Mr Kirby: “I don’t know how or why he reached that conclusion, but I do not agree at all.”
Brazil has not joined Western countries in imposing sanctions on Russia and has refused requests to supply ammunition to Ukraine.
While Brazil is calling for peace talks, Ukraine and its allies say an immediate ceasefire would allow Russia to keep hold of territory it illegally obtained through force.