/ 23 August 2023

Brazil’s Lula calls for end to Ukraine war

Lula (1)
Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arrives in South Africa ahead of the Brics summit.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has taken centre stage at the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit, with Brazilian President Lula Da Silva calling for an urgent and peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Lula has also called out the UN Security Council for its failure to deal with the war and its refusal to give equal attention to other conflicts, including those in Palestine, Syria and Yemen.

Addressing the open plenary session of the second day of the 15th Brics summit, being held in Sandton, Johannesburg, Lula said it was the citizens of the world’s developing nations who had suffered the most because of the Ukraine war.

Residents of Brics nations “also suffer the consequence of the war”, which had taken place because of a return to an “obsolete Cold War mindset” and had eroded the effectiveness of organs of multilateralism in resolving international conflicts.

Brazil and other Brics nations had already attempted to broker peace between Moscow and Kyiv and remained in contact with both capitals in a bid to keep communication channels open between the warring parties.

Lula said China, South Africa and Brazil had held discussions with both Ukraine and Russia to try to bring about a peaceful resolution and remained committed to securing a ceasefire as soon as possible.

“Brazil is ready to join efforts to contribute to an immediate ceasefire and to long-term peace,” he said.

Lula said the UN’s handling of Ukraine had exposed “the limitations of the UN Security Council” in its failure to pay equitable attention to other conflicts, particularly those in the global south.

“Ukraine has shown the limitations of the UN Security Council in that other conflicts do not receive due attention. The people of Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Libya and Palestine all deserve to live in peace,” Lula said.

In his streamed address, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who could not attend in person because of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant over the abduction of Ukrainian children, welcomed the attempts by fellow Brics nations to broker peace.

Putin said Russia had acted against Ukraine to “put an end to the war that was waged by Ukraine against the people of Donbas” for eight years.

Responding to Lula and Putin’s remarks, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the session, thanked fellow Brics nations for their efforts to “bring about a peaceful end to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia”.

Ramaphosa also thanked Putin for being willing to enter into peace talks.

“This type of conflict is best brought to an end by negotiations, which you have said that you will always be ready for,” he said.