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Brazil’s Lula meets Lavrov after accusing US of ‘encouraging’ Ukraine war

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Lula had raised eyebrows in the West during his recent trip to China and the United Arab Emirates by accusing the US of “encouraging the war” in Ukraine and stating that Kiev shares the blame for the conflict. Lavrov thanked Lula for his offer to mediate peace talks on the 14-month war but the visit and Lula’s comments sparked criticism from the White House, which has led support for Ukraine. Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira defended Lula’s remarks, saying he did not agree with them. Despite his comments, Lula is seeking closer ties with Washington. However, Brazil has not joined Western nations in imposing sanctions on Russia for its invasion and has refused requests to supply ammunition to Ukraine. Lavrov and Vieira’s talks also focused on energy and trade, with about a quarter of Brazil’s fertilizer imports coming from Russia and the two countries engaged in a record $9.8 billion in bilateral trade last year. Lavrov’s visit to Brazil is part of a weeklong Latin American tour that includes Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, countries whose leftist governments have hostile relations with the US.

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