US must stop 'encouraging' war in Ukraine, says Lula during China visit

US must stop 'encouraging' war in Ukraine, says Lula during China visit
Credit: Belga

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called on the US to "stop encouraging war" and implored the EU to step up its efforts to peacefully resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

"The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace, the European Union needs to start talking about peace," Lula told reporters in Beijing on Saturday after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Lula also expressed his hopes that the international community will be able to "convince" Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy that "peace is in the interest of the whole world".

This is not the first time that Lula has openly criticised US and EU policy towards Ukraine. Last May, the 77-year-old outraged Western leaders when he suggested that both the US and the EU were "complicit" in instigating the conflict and claimed that Zelenskyy "is as responsible as Putin for the war".

'Unfulfilled obligations'

In addition to his own comments to reporters, Lula published a joint statement with Xi which called on the world's richest nations to keep their promise to provide $100 billion a year to poorer countries to help fight the effects of climate change.

"We continue to be very concerned that climate finance from developed countries still falls short of the $100 billion per year commitment, as it has every year since the target was set in 2009," the statement read. "We urge developed countries to honour their unfulfilled obligations on climate finance."

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Lula's visit was primarily aimed at strengthening the already close links between Brasilia and Beijing. After his first election as Brazilian President back in 2003, Lula claimed that Brazil and China "share similar interests" and called on the two nations to form a "strategic alliance".

These promises were borne out: by the end of Lula's first stint as President of Brazil in 2010, China had surpassed the United States to become Brazil's largest trading partner. Today, more than a quarter of Brazil's exports are sent to China, while only 12% go to the US.

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