MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin told his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a call on Friday that Russia was open to dialogue over Ukraine, the Kremlin said, shortly after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed a Chinese peace envoy to Moscow.
Russia has repeatedly said it was open to resuming peace talks with Kyiv, which stalled a few months after Russia invaded Ukraine early last year, and has welcomed mediation efforts from both Brazil and China.
But it has insisted that any negotiations must be based on “new realities”, meaning its declared annexation of four Ukrainian provinces that it largely or partly controls — a condition unacceptable to Kyiv.
China for its part has put forward a 12-point plan for peace in Ukraine that involves declaring a ceasefire, but does not stipulate that Russia should withdraw from any of the territory it has seized.
Moscow insists talks based on ‘new realities’, implying its annexation of four provinces must be accepted as fait accompli
In his meeting with Li, Lavrov expressed gratitude for China’s “balanced position” and willingness to play a positive role, his ministry said.
“I reiterated Brazil’s willingness, along with India, Indonesia and China, to talk to both sides of the conflict in pursuit of peace,” he tweeted.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not meet Lula when both men attended a Group of Seven summit in Japan last weekend, despite finding time to speak to an array of other national leaders.
Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev, a hawkish senior ally of Putin’s, was quoted on Friday as saying Russia could not trust any truce with Ukraine, and would therefore have to destroy the “very nature” of power in Kyiv.
Lula declines Putin’s invitation
Brazilain President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva declined an invitation to travel to Saint Petersburg during the telephone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
The refusal came just days after a spat between Lula and Ukrain’s President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G7 summit in Japan, where a planned meeting between the pair fell through.
“I thanked (Putin) for an invitation to go to the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg and replied that I cannot go to Russia at this time,” wrote Lula on Twitter about the event scheduled for June 14-17.
“But I reiterated Brazil’s availability, alongside India, Indonesia and China, to speak with both sides of the conflict to seek peace.”
Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2023