The White House on Monday sharply criticized Brazil after President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on a trip to China that the United States is encouraging war in Ukraine.
“In this case, Brazil is parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without at all looking at the facts,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
Lula said Saturday during a visit to Beijing, where he met Chinese leader Xi Jinping, that “the United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace. The European Union needs to start talking about peace.”
This echoed a line frequently used by Moscow and Beijing, which blame the West for the war, which began in February 2022 when Russian forces poured into Ukraine in an attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government and annex swaths of the pro-Western country.
Brazil has not joined Western nations in imposing sanctions on Russia and has refused requests to supply ammunition to Ukraine.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Brazil, at the start of a Latin America tour, that Russia is “grateful to our Brazilian friends for their clear understanding of the genesis of the situation (in Ukraine).”
Veteran leftist Lula is keen to bolster Brazil’s bid to be a non-aligned peacemaker.
But Kirby said Lula’s message on the war was “deeply problematic.”
Washington doesn’t have “any objection to any country that wants to try to bring an end to the war,” he said.
“Obviously we want the war to end,” Kirby said. “That could happen right now, today, if Mr (Russian President Vladimir) Putin would stop attacking Ukraine and pull its troops out.”
“The most recent comments by Brazil that Ukraine should consider formally ceding Crimea as a peace concession is simply misguided, especially for a country like Brazil that has voted to uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity (at the UN).”
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