Brazil and Lula: Ukraine’s “Best Bet for Peace”

Personally, I don’t think so. Brazil isn’t anywhere near Ukraine or Russia, geographically speaking. I’d rather see Turkey continue on in this role. They have, as they say, “some skin in the game”. Of course the US has no interest in an Erdogan led Turkey continuing in the capacity. Than China had a peace plan? The US had no interest in that. So why Lula? Perhaps because the US is looking for a face saving out that could be provided by Lula.

Foreign Policy- So, it’s an American perspective

By Jorge Heine, a professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, and Thiago Rodrigues, a professor of security studies at the Federal Fluminense University in Rio de Janeiro state.

The United States and its allies seem confused that many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America refuse to join the sanctions campaign against Russia or ship weapons to Ukraine. Many Latin American countries’ neutrality—and their unwillingness to become de facto belligerents in a European war—is described as shameful, if not a moral failure. Some even go so far as to say that the region’s overwhelmingly nonaligned stance puts the rules-based international order at risk.

Brazil—Latin America’s largest country and diplomatic heavyweight—has come under particular scrutiny for its position on Ukraine. While the United States has pledged to support the war in Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has vocally pressed for a truce and peaceful solution to the conflict

The Foreign Policy piece presents Lula as an individual pressing for a truce and peaceful resolution- He has, sort of. But he’s not been entirely unbiased

Lula got to work on his peace proposal quickly after his inauguration in January. During a February visit to Washington, Lula suggested to U.S. President Joe Biden that Brazil create a so-called “peace club”—a group of countries that would facilitate peace talks

In March, a 30-minute video call between Lula and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky showed that Brazil means business.

Brazil means business?

Lula used the opportunity to convey to Zelensky the urgency of a negotiated solution to the war. Then, in April, Lula’s chief advisor Celso Amorim traveled to Moscow, where—breaking all protocol—he was received by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. On the same trip, Amorim met with a top foreign affairs advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron has also appeared interested in negotiating an end to the conflict.

The result of Amorim’s Putin meeting was uncertain at best, with Amorim acknowledging that neither side is ready to sit down for talks

So I guess him telling Zelensky that Brazil “means business” was a non starter?

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent trip to Brazil—indicate how seriously Moscow is taking proposals from the government in Brasília.

Maybe? Or maybe Lavrov let Brazil know they don’t take their proposals seriously? I don’t know.

In the end, whether negotiations happen will come down to whether the West has an interest in bringing an end to this tragic war, or whether it prefers to fight it as long as is necessary “to weaken Russia permanently,” as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin described his aims in April 2022. Until now, Ukraine’s preference has been to not give up any territory. Yet that could prove a costly wager for the country’s people—and its economy

A stalemated war—which is where Ukraine may be headed—is ultimately about economic resilience. There, Russia has the upper hand.

The Brazilian mediation initiative to bring the conflict to an end soon may be an opportunity to save Ukraine—rather than the naive, misguided undertaking many in the West describe it to be.

Save Ukraine? Because Brazil has offered up a mediation initiative? The US can “save Ukraine” or what ever is left of it without Brazil’s help. Stop shipping arms. Stop training soldiers. Stop upping the ante against Russia. See, from where I sit, this is a war between the US and Russia using Ukrainians as proxies. And Brazil is simply not a factor. So this piece feels like a sales pitch/promotional for Brazil’s Lula to play a role he simply isn’t needed for

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