After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 15, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told reporters that the U.S. should stop "encouraging war" in Ukraine and "start talking about peace," the Guardian reported.
"The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace. The European Union needs to start talking about peace," Lula said, as quoted by the media.
Silva sparked outrage on April 6 after suggesting that Ukraine should be open to the idea of giving up Crimea in exchange for peace with Russia.
"(The Russian President Vladimir Putin) cannot seize the territory of Ukraine. But perhaps we can discuss Crimea. (President Volodymyr Zelensky) cannot want everything… the world needs to calm down."
Lula has acknowledged Ukraine's right to defend itself against Russia but repeatedly favored diplomatic solutions over supplying defense aid.
In an early February interview with CNN, Lula said that Ukraine had the right to defend itself. However, he rejected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's request for Brazil to send ammunition to Ukraine.
"I don't want to join the war," Lula explained. "I want to end the war."
Previously, when Lula was still a presidential candidate, he implied that Russia was not solely to blame for the war. In an interview with Time Magazine from May 2022, he said, "What was the reason for the Ukraine invasion? NATO? Then the U.S. and Europe should have said: 'Ukraine won’t join NATO.' That would have solved the problem."
China has also publicly tried to play the role of a mediator. On April 14, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said that his country wouldn't sell weaponry to either side of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
China released a 12-point "peace plan" on the one-year anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion. However, it was criticized by many of Ukraine's allies for failing to explicitly call for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.
China has not explicitly condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Ukrainian territories, despite it going against the principles of respecting international law and sovereignty outlined in the peace plan.